Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My thyroid test came out normal. My regular doc and nurse have not confirmed this in detail yet, but essentially, a nurse at the office looked at the report and unofficially said it looked normal.
What does that mean to me?

That means that I am on this journey. My life, my body, my mind, and my heart are being transformed. There is not a moment wasted. I press on. If my body is functioning within normal limits then I am to just keep doing what God has called me to do.

Tomorrow I get on my bike for another 15mile ride. I am not sure where I am going to ride yet because during the week, all the traffic is a little heavier, even if I am riding on a bike path. But one of the things I get to practice tomorrow is something I struggle with... getting on and off the bike.

My friend Jim who owns Cycle Metrix adjusted my bike to better fit me today and he gave me some pointers on my "mount and dismount" techniques. But, just like anything else, I won't get better if I don't practice.

The bummer of it is, if I have to get off the bike, it is because there are people there... watching. Then, I have to get back on the bike. OK, so you get the picture. I guess I could have posted the picture of the hash marks on the back of my leg too... then you would really have the PICTURE. They are healing nicely now. I have no desire to pester them with another unfortunate dismount.

I will get in the lake on Thursday. For the first time to have a real lake swim. I am freaked out about that too. But that is a whole 36or so hours away... we'll talk about that tomorrow... ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Discouragement and Motivation... Week 10 of my Tri Training

My old friend Discouragement isn't as noisy as she used to be. She has lost her primary place in my focus and attention. Motivation has taken priority and encouraged me to drive ahead even on the days when I hear Discouragement's tempting voice to just give up. Let me tell you about them both:

Discouragement is slow. Her voice is monotone and her creativity is non-existent. She has no spark to her existence. Her heart beats with a steady unexciting pulse. She has no favorite colors because she sees only gray wherever she looks. She doesn't bother with laughter for she sees no point in it. Life just occurs around her. She sees no real reason for the pursuit of anything. She doesn't sing because she hears no melody in her heart. Most are drawn to her out of convenience and their own lack of imagination. The companionship felt with her is like prisoners locked together in the same cage. She is to be avoided. If she has captivated your attention for any length of time it is too long. She will do you no favors and bring you no peace. Her encouragement exists only to keep you with her, alone, and void of all hope. Once you walk away from her, you won't miss her, but she will keep talking if you listen.

However, my new friend Motivation is different.

Motivation is the one who now gets me up in the morning. Her voice is soft and clear as a crisp spring day. Her heart beats strong and fast. Her creativity when facing a challenge is inexhaustible. Her favorite colors are vibrant and her laugh sounds like music in my head on the days when she knows I am near victory. Her zest for life draws me deeper into risk and challenge. Her song has a  pounding baseline and a invigorating chorus. I am drawn to her with a compulsion that parallels a new romance. I cannot imagine my life without her now. She is my closest companion. My dearest friend. She whispers gentle encouragement during my weary moments and emphatically cheers my many victories. She is wise and kind. She pushes me farther and faster than I ever imagined I could go. She is the complete display of Joy, Peace and Hope.

These girls are allegory style images of what God has released me from and where He has taken me on this journey. He is the author and creator of Motivation. The enemy of my soul designed Discouragement. I pray they speak to you today, for God's revelation on these two is not for me alone.

Now for the nitty gritty details of my day...

I saw the doctor.

Let me preface this with the fact that he is no slouch. He is an athlete himself and his family is focused in athletic pursuits... so he knows what I am asking him about.

He said I am not eating enough. Likely my metabolic rate is slowed not only due to my age (everything would look different if I was 18 - FOR SURE! If only I had appreciated it back then!!), my weight and the amount of exercise I am doing. Basically the deficit in my caloric intake is too great and my body is still holding on to the fat to protect itself from starvation... lovely.

I adjusted my calories based on the deficit he recommended and will be working towards that for the next few weeks to see if there is any change. He also had some blood drawn and will be testing my thyroid function.

Today I am resting. I painted my guys little faces, I have dinked around on the computer, I read some in my triathlon training manual, broke up a few fights, worked on preschool workbooks, fed myself and my kids, and pretty much did nothing else. Oh, I did take a nap for the first time in weeks.

It is funny how resting is work for me now. I used to rest all the time. So tired. So overwhelmed. So ... you fill in the blank. Now, I with my training schedule and the beginning of MOPS coming up I am super busy. All the usual stuff plus those things and my training is taking longer because the workouts are longer. School preparation for my boys is taking some time and focus. None of it is bad but to just STOP for a whole day (not that my brain has stopped or the list making hasn't continued) seems a little nuts. But that is what I felt like God wanted me to do today.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weary Wonderings...

I find myself so tired these days. I am still doing my workouts, my dishes, my laundry, taking care of my kids, my home, etc. But I just feel tired. I was supposed to bike 20 miles today, though I stopped at 15. I didn't want to push farther than that because I was so tired I didn't want to get hurt.

Tomorrow morning at 7:15am I will be at my doctor's office to have a check up. There will be blood work run to check my thyroid and such. Did I mention I will have my three sons with me? That should be fun.

I can only wonder what might be going on in my body. I have never pushed it this far for this long. I have certainly never attempted this kind of athletic event with the kind of weight I have right now.

So, wearily I wonder... what is up?? Is there anything else going on or is it just my life, busy amazing boys, hard physical exercise and the regular duties of Mommyhood? I have no idea.

I will post tomorrow about what Doc had to say. I am curious.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sneezy!? The last of my "Seven Dwarf" series...

Yes, it is time for the last of my "seven dwarf" series...

I was sneezing about 30 times the other morning and it dawned on me, I could be getting sick. That freaks me out.

However, since my God said He wants me to do this race, attend to my family and lead the New Life MOPS group, then obviously He already knows what I need to keep going. Every Day.

With that in mind, this is a short blog so I can get to bed before midnight.

Sorry for the lack of brilliance here... but seriously, I need my rest so I don't get sick! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grumpy - Dwarf number 6... and me

Okay, I have to admit. I have been grumpy a lot lately.

Again, it has been A WHILE since I have slept through the night. The odds are stacked against me and so are the kids...

They all sleep well almost every night. Except that one of them, at least, wakes up in the night and needs something, a drink, covered up, a prayer (for a bad dream), or something of that sort.

I am now getting to the point where I am grumpy at night... Like in the MIDDLE of the night.

Last night James woke up with a bad dream. I was so deep in sleep and so crabby about being awakened that I mumbled to this poor upset five year old... "Go pick up your toys and then I will help you." Yes, I am the best mom EVER. He came back a little bit later and said, "but Mommy, I had a bad dream!" in his sad sleepy voice. The second time was enough to wake me up. At which point I apologized and tucked him back into bed with a drink and a prayer for sweet dreams and a peaceful rest.

Seriously! "Pick up your toys first, then I will help you"! Good grief!! He would have been better of with Charlie Brown's mom saying "Waah wah wah wah."

The hard thing about being grumpy with your kids is that once you recognize your bad attitude or grumpy choices and apologize (and at least at the age of my kids - they always forgive you) is that for hours later you can be plagued with all the other thoughts of every other way you are screwing up as a mom.
"They haven't had enough veggies today"
"They have a few cavities because you aren't attentive when they brush their teeth"
"If you were paying attention to what they were doing in the bathroom, your air freshener wouldn't have spilled and they wouldn't have soaked a hand towel trying to clean it up and then left it in the floor"
"The way you yelled at them is going to scar them for life. What were you thinking? Nice job teaching kindness and compassion, I am sure they heard that LOUD and CLEAR!"

Those are just a few of the things that floated through my head today.

But, the TRUTH, again, I have to focus on that, is that I am a good mom who is teaching herself not to be so darn serious, to let more things go, to apologize when I don't do a good job being kind, and NEVER take anything for granted (my kids, a clean bathroom, or an opportunity to teach about something you struggle with yourself).

So, should I be awakened in the middle of the night tonight, I will try not to send my son to pick up his toys, I will tenderly and lovingly tuck him in, and if I still haven't slept in another week (or a day or two), I may need an overnight in our camper in the driveway so I can have an uninterrupted night of sleep!

NO MORE GRUMPY!!! I don't like him and I hate it when he comes to visit!! (OK, now you are wondering if I really see little dwarfs in my house... ;))

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dopey - Another Dwarf...

I am not graceful when it comes to the mount/dismount event on my bike. I am not even graceful when it comes to getting into my toeclips which I guess could be included in the "mount" portion of my "dopiness".

Today I rode a long way on my bike. Somewhere between 15-20 miles. About 3 miles in I had to stop for an intersection. I braked and tried to approach slowly, quickly sliding my right foot out of the toeclip to land on my feet. Not a bad plan, but unfortunately I did not move out of the way in time before the nicely cleated pedal smacked into my leg leaving 7 slash marks up my leg of varying depth.


Well, I guess my worst fears have been realized now. I have been injured while riding my bike. No more worries now right? Sure. I "enjoyed" the salt of sweat dripping into it. The gunky scabs that were forming while I rode. The tightness in the skin...

Ahhh the blessings of being alive...

I say all this to share with you that I really dig having an owie. Nuts huh? It just makes me feel like I am really doing something that is a challenge for me.

DOPEY is how I look. But IN PROCESS is how I feel. Scabs and all!

I don't know what is next, I am not sure it matters... I LOVE IT!

NUTS is what my head even thinks of this --

but my heart... IT IS HAPPY!!

It brings tears to my eyes often to think about how far I've come and what is yet to be...

So, I can live with looking DOPEY. If it gets me to where I am going eventually...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


After 10 months of consistent exercise I have lost a whopping 24 pounds.

My friend/coach thinks I need to see an endocrinologist. She is concerned that my body isn't releasing my fat/weight. I  have done natural cleanses and stuff like that but it's not the same. I really am starting to wonder what chemically is going on in my body.

So, I am going to look into it.

My family doc said he thinks my body is just used to storing fat since I have been in "baby mode" for so long. He is likely right, but I really think that after all these months of hard high intensity exercise I should have lost more than I have. I have built muscle yes, but really, I haven't even lost that many inches.

I ask for your prayers. I am not sure how much to pursue this before my race or just wait until after. I welcome any input you might have. Thanks so much!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bashful!? or is it Fearful?!

I have written before about my fear of bike riding. Not only does my bum hurt, but I am terrified - I mean TERRIFIED of falling off. I have equilibrium issues (I guess) as balance has never been my strong suit.

Today, I had a choice to make. I was tired from our camping trip, my friend I was going to ride with ended up with another event happening and we couldn't afford a sitter for Erik to go with me this time. SO - I either had to go ALONE or not go at all.

I was so sad and discouraged (initially masking itself as FEAR) that I was really planning to blow it off. Deciding it wasn't THAT big of a deal. Surely I could make it up another time.

Once I finally admitted to myself I was really AFRAID, I started to cry. I couldn't stop. I could barely choke out why I was crying. He did what he usually does when I am freaked out, he calmly looked into my eyes and said, "Jenn, you need to do this. I will take care of the boys." I kept crying and went and got  by super-spectacular-everyone-wishes-they-had-a-bum-the-size-of-mine bike shorts on, and my cycling shirt that shrunk in the wash and got ready to go. I kissed my little guys good night and went out to the car.

He calmly (as he most often is) showed me how to load my bike on the rack attached to my car, I loaded up, kissed him goodbye and left. I made two calls on my way to the starting point of my ride. My friend Leslie who is my designated cheerleader for all things athletic (and many other things) and my Dad. I had to leave a message for Leslie and Dad prayed for me and I was still crying when we hung up.

I tell you about this FEAR thing because so many of you say you are inspired by me and that is great. But, I am no different than you are. Many of you think riding a bike is no big deal, but it is to me. It is the longest part of my triathlon and the thing that scares me the most. FALLING and CRASHING, and FLAT TIRES, Oh My! (You get it don't you? Lions and tigers and bears! Oh My!)

I get to my starting point and get on my bike. I just started riding. BIG headwind. Felt like it was 20mph, but I have no idea how to measure that! I decided to look around. Birds dipping around me, vacationers zipping by on the freeway, wind rustling the long grasses, grasshoppers bouncing around, and the first mile, second mile, third mile, they just kept going by... and I kept riding. I kept looking around. I kept enjoying the gorgeous evening before my eyes, with me, right in the middle of a life making moment!!

Within the first couple of miles, I decided to flip my second pedal around to try to get my toe in my new toe clips. I can start riding with one toe in the clip but have not successfully gotten my second toe in. I flipped the pedal, lost both of them, and then wobbled a bit... my heart rate went a bit wacky as I struggled to at least get my toe in one clip again without falling off or stopping. I kept riding and felt like giving up. I flipped my pedal around again with the toe clip part up (usually it is down - with my foot on the other side of the pedal).

I whispered a prayer, "God will you help me with this please!" I took a breath and slid my second foot into the toe clip! I yelled "YAHOOO!" right out there in the middle of the Centenial Trail! Why not!!?? It was awesome!

The really crazy part, I often want to stop and take a breath, or let the circulation return to my "nether regions", except that I didn't want to take my feet out of the clips! I kept riding... for seven and a half miles. When it was time to turn around, then I slid my feet out and stood up. AMAZING!

Then, to make it even more incredible, I started riding back towards my car and my feet practically just jumped into the toe clips!! I squeeled with delight! And rode all the way back. Without stopping.

The last mile - mile 14 - I praised God LOUDLY! FEAR had to die today for me to find VICTORY!

O, that we would embrace our fears and push past them for the most amazing and unexpected victories! I remeber even Bashful blushed with delight when Snow White finally noticed him and kissed him on the cheek.

Today, my God kissed me on the cheek. He knew I was scared. He orchestrated the day to position me for victory when all I really wanted was defeat. He surrounded me with people who believed in me more that I believe in myself and He drew me gently into success without trauma. That is what a God who really KNOWS us can do. So often we think it always has to be the "hard" way. Today, He just gently put me on the path He was asking me to "ride on" and gave me what I needed to accomplish the task at hand.

I blush now with the big fuss I made fearing the ride that I did today.

It wasn't a big deal. But it was.

God understood.

He knew.

I am so glad He loves me.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I am cracking myself up in delerious exhaustion. The next 5 blogs will also be titled the names of the seven dwarfs... not really, well, maybe... will have to wait and see won't ya?! :)

I have slept one solid night in at least the last 2 weeks. Here I am up at midnight knowing my guys will be awake at 6am as usual or earlier because we leave to go camping tomorrow.

I shall keep this brief...
REST. It is so elusive in this season of life. Kids awake at night, blogs to write, laundry to do, there are millions of reasons why a hard working stay at home mom could be up at midnight. And honestly, over the span of raising our kids, there will be at least a million.


What am I doing with it? Am I resentful of my fellas getting up in the night for some reason or the other? Sometimes. Though I often make an effort to remember how precious time is with them right now, midnight snuggles don't grow on trees when they are 12!!  When I have to sing the same song a bunch of times, or read the same story, or get out the crayons or worse, markers for them to color one more picture for 30 seconds and then move on to something else, do I appreciate the opportunity to have children that can color? or that can sing with me? or want to learn to read, or even see the book?

We take our rest for granted people. There are parents out there who don't snuggle up to their pillows at night. They watchfully observe their child, looking out for whatever may happen with g-tubes, chest tubes, breathing treatments, and other assorted ailments.

Those of us who have been given super healthy kids need to be grateful. We need to be rejoicing that our kids can get out of bed when they need us, or can holler our name until we come. We need to be sleepy every once in a while to remember there are other people out there who are sleepy too, and they don't have a choice to cozy up to a loved one or even a soft pillow.

So, the next time you think you need some rest, check in with the Lord. Ask Him if there is someone else who needs your time or energy, if He wants you to be His hands or feet in any given situation. Because my friend, just because you are sleepy or tired from the challenges of your life, your God still wants you to hear His voice and respond. He knows you are tired. He knows why you are tired. Let Him give you the rest you REALLY need, not just what you think you need.

Before you lay down, say a prayer for those who have to be up tonight. They need it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This song is one of my regular workout play list favorites. Every time it comes on it reminds me of the Truth.
He is not singing about happy for "happy" sake, but of real joy.

I had a hard time tracking down my joy today. I even posted this on a friend's facebook profile when she said she was feeling grumpy today "May the power of God who raised Christ from the dead that lives in you IGNITE you with JOY filling you with a sense of CELEBRATION for all HE has poured into your life. I am praying you have AT LEAST one hard core belly laugh before the end of the day! I love you!!!"

I really should take my own advice. I had to go back and read it myself later today after an unfortunate several incidents where my sons blatantly ignored my instructions AGAIN! I hate taking it personal. My head knows it's not, but my heart doesn't. My heart thinks "I got you to the beach finally, can you please just be grateful and obey me for once so this is easy for me?" But, no, they can't. Because their little heads don't think like that. They think, "I am finally at the beach. I love the beach. I want to play in the water. Oh, I think I heard something, nope, lets play in the water some more, wait, there it is again. I will look up so it seems like I heard something, but then go back to playing and go farther out in the water so I don't hear it again!!".

So, I brought them home, finally, after a dear friend put both her hands on my shoulders and reminded me to just breathe and it will all be ok.

Why does this stuff get me so worked up? I have no idea. I told my husband I am just sick of hearing my voice, giving instructions to the apparently deaf and doling out consequences like they are jelly beans on an Easter egg hunt! Seriously, I would be sick of the consequences by now and just quit! BUT at the ripe old age of 4 (almost 5) and 6, consequences are just a way of life.

As I type I am listening to my two year old cry and holler my name for the umpteenth time tonight. It is 11pm. He has been at it since at least 930. I have been in there about 4 times and his father has been in there at least that many times. This doesn't seem like a good night to get the sleep I need.

Sleep deprived or not, I should be happy. Exhausted or not, I should be happy. I have been given the children I always longed for, an incredible husband, precious friends, an amazing family, a wonderful home, really, I should  be happy! And, when I put it like that... I don't have to ponder it deeply or for very long to KNOW - I am Happy! Not because life isn't hard and there aren't challenges to conquer, but really, those things truly don't affect my "happy" factor. Not at all.

Oh and yes, I did end up with at least one memorable belly laugh today. Thank you Lord!

Are you Happy?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fresh out... ;)

I wish I had something brilliant to write today. But, I don't. It was a good day. I stayed within my calories, swam well in my class, brought two friends meals for their family, played with my boys and attended a going away party for a friend's daughter who also happens to have been a great babysitter for our boys.

I am ready for bed. My Love is already snoozing on the couch waiting for me to finish my writing. We seldom go to bed alone. One of us just dozes waiting for the other to be ready to go to bed. I am thankful for that.

So, this is the blog for today. Tomorrow will be busy too. Beach with friends, BRICK (bike and swim workout), watch my 3 plus a friends 3 plus another friend's 2 for a bit tomorrow afternoon so one can give the other a pedicure. Awesome! Then I come home, make dinner and make a bouquet for a friend's daughter's wedding...

Busy days that are full of LIFE and BLESSING for myself, my kids and other friends/families that we love are wonderful!
Going to bed. Must rest up for tomorrow's fun!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Bogdanowicz Family Purpose and Focus

Erik and I prayerfully wrote this together several months ago knowing that as our family grows we will need to have clear perspective and direction on what we will do and be involved in as a family (and as individuals). We have an extensive written vision and goals as well. I pray reading this blesses you as well as maybe encourages you to make your own.

Bogdanowicz Family Purpose
To bring glory to God by loving, respecting, and supporting each other and all those He puts in our lives; working together as a team to accomplish God's plan for our family.

As a family we will:
Support each other in activities designed to bless our hearts, minds and bodies.
Maintain a healthy world view and minister in our home and abroad as the Lord leads.
Learn to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)consistently.
Schedule times to connect with each other's hearts.
Play hard and laugh often in healthy godly ways.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Personal Priorities

Getting personal priorities straight is challenging in every season of life I think.

I decided as a part of this blog to list what mine are. It is a key part of my pursuing a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

1) My personal relationship with God - I will pursue and deepen my relationship with Him - including Bible Study, accountability relationships, and regular attendance at our church
2) My relationship with my husband - I will consistently focus on the needs of our marriage including planning regular date nights and focusing on his needs
3) My relationships with my children - having quality focused interaction including; teaching, playing with, and training them including holding them accountable for their choices
4) My personal wellness and care - choosing healthy eating, physical activity, and writing
5) My ministry position - as MOPS Coordinator I will lean on God for clear leadership decision making, encourage the leaders on my team and consistently pray for them and the moms that are a part of our group

That is basically it. I am sure I could expand further, but for now, you get the idea! :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What a MOMENT!!

Today my training calendar said Run for 45 minutes.

I swam hard yesterday - Swimming 50m to warm up, then swam as long as I could just to see how far I could go without stopping and that was about 15min 30sec. Then I swam 50m to "cool down". Total distance 750m! That was pretty exciting!

Today running for 45 minutes didn't sound terribly daunting, but I know once I get started, it is. But since my training calendar says to do it. I just do.

But today was different because today was the first day I did my entire 5k. I wondered what song would come on as I was finishing. Today it was "Crown Him with Many Crowns" an old hymn Michael W Smith remade for his album "I'll Lead You Home". If you haven't heard it - google it and see if you can listen... I couldn't find a good link quickly or I would have put it on here.

Anyway, as one of my favorite anthems is blaring in my ears I am tearing up and raising one hand into the air praising the Lord for bringing me this far. It feels like such a long road. I have farther yet to go. BUT, I know He has provided for me the time, energy, finances, etc to see this goal accomplished and I am SO very thankful!

I felt almost a little silly - but not quite. You see, whoever was looking at me had no idea what I have spent my life doing and how HUGE it is for me to be running on a treadmill for over 3 miles.

I was sharing with a few friends at a party last night about how I have NEVER completed an athletic goal. Some thing always happens where I get injured or life gets in the way and I have to change plans. I have had events as simple as a PE challenge for the Presidential Fitness Awards get blown for a dislocated shoulder and a twisted knee and a twisted ankle (yes, all 3 happened in 3 different years). A couple of years later I trained for months and months for a horse show and got dumped in the warm up ring. Then once my injuries healed I trained for another horse show and ended up crashing INTO a fence in the warm up ring and then there was the time I broke my back (compression fracture of 2 vertebrae) after training for months for a horse show in College, and pretty much after that, I gave up. I would still do athletic things when I was pretty sure I wouldn't get hurt, but never with any direct purpose or goal in mind.

All that to say, part of why this triathlon is SUCH a big deal is because I have never achieved a goal like this before. When I train, I am very careful to avoid injury and have had several "near miss" type incidents (like stepping off a curb I didn't see - but only strained a muscle in my foot) these past couple of months. I feel like God is covering me. He knows how bad I want to be an athlete because He made me this way. And finally, at the ripe old age of 39, I am going to be one!

Today, crying on the treadmill, arms lifted in worship, rejoicing with my whole heart at how far I have come, I smelled victory. It was sweaty, tired, and completely elated about what is yet to come!! Whooo HOOOOO!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Under the weather

Today I woke up later than usual. But only because I was up (conservatively guessing) at least 9 times. Each of my three sons woke up at least three times! It was crazy! Erik even got up with the boys at least two other times - when I couldn't move!

I had intermittent weird dreams in between each "awakening" and by the time I got out of bed I knew it was gonna be a tough one to recover from.

Then my stomach started to roll. Ugh. I really hoped that I wasn't going to have to bag my entire day, but, there ya have it... I did. I bagged the day.

 Missing my swim class was a big bummer. Missing my MOPS planning meeting - a bigger bummer.

Several things I didn't miss today - following through with the correction my oldest son is requiring right now, talking with a few friends who needed "pep" talks, talking with my sons, holding Peter's hand, laughing with their silly noises and faces, checking my FB profile to find that a sweet friend had me on her heart today, and some much needed reading in my favorite quiet spot at the Kroc.

Now, so I don't miss some quality time with the Love of my life, I am going to cut this short and say good night!! ;)

Here's hoping we will ALL sleep tonight!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Much Needed Rest

Tonight was a sweet reprieve. I have had a pretty bumpy week with my fellas, grieving with a friend,  and I have worked hard on keeping my focus on my guys, my hubby, my friend, my housework, my training, etc.

Tonight we were invited to join some friends and head out on the lake for a few hours. We floated, had snacks and drinks and visited. We watched the sunset, talked about things that are important and things that aren't. We laughed about dumb stuff and talked passionately about things that are important.

I am not sure which part was more restful.

Floating. We turned off the motor in the middle of the lake and just floated. No specific destination, just floating.

Visiting. Talking. Laughing. Assortment of subjects varying in relevance and significance.

Food and drink. Good stuff. Healthy stuff. Yummy stuff.

Or maybe it was the combination.

I told a close friend this morning that I felt like I hadn't really RESTED in ages. I have had windows of rest and opportunities to relax but I couldn't remember the last time I really RESTED.

I know she prayed for me. I know God provided for me. REST. I am so thankful.
Going to bed now... now that I have experienced it again... want to get some more rest!! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aching For My Friend - Ignited for Prayer

I am not sure how to start this except to just start.

A woman I deeply admire lost her eighteen year old son last week in a tragic car accident. She has always been a Woman of Valor in my book. She diligently prays for her family, serves them with joy and works hard to be a blessing and encouragement to so many others too. She has also taught my two oldest son's Sunday School classes as well! She is a Proverbs 31 woman. A real life hero. Anyone who knows her would likely say all of the same things (except she may have not taught their kids Sunday school :)).

We have talked from time to time and we have prayed for each other, but this time it's just different. My prayers for her and her family are so deep, like the tumultuous currents that come after an earthquake at the bottom of the ocean. The surface looks unaffected but the aching waves swell and stir up the depths of my soul.

God is asking her to walk one of the the worst paths I can imagine. This devastation she is walking through is unimaginable. I know He is right by her side. I know He has dispatched a very specialized team of angels to take up residence in her home as she and her husband and their precious daughter wade through this season of grief. He has positioned dear friends to surround her, released finances to provide for the kinds of expenses no one can plan ahead for, and flooded the community around her with compassion and concern.

We are never alone. Mathew, her beloved son was not. God was there with him too that night. In this time that I have been interceding I asked the Lord about that night. I wanted to know if the precious boy I prayed for these past six years, was filled with terror just before the accident or when the accident happened, or if God intervened supernaturally on his behalf. Then, in the midst of my prayers I saw it, a flash of light and a whooosh and Mathew was airlifted to Heaven. Received by his Lord, embraced and welcomed and released from the earthly life he was just in. I praised the Lord. In awe of His great mercy and so thankful He deposited such a precious moment between He and Mathew in my heart, I am overwhelmed by His provision again.

What that moment said to me was that He has already supernaturally provided for all who were affected by Mathew's seemingly untimely departure. He knows what is next and He knows what each of us need to process this life altering event.

Please join me in prayer for the Memorial Service that will be held tomorrow as we celebrate the wonderful deposit God made on this earth by the name of Mathew Rocheleau. Please pray that those who attend will be deeply affected by God's great love for them and that the impact Mathew made on so many would have eternal implications for ALL. I pray that not one person would leave our church tomorrow night without embracing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That the lost would be found, the wounded would receive healing, and those who have distanced themselves from God would have a breathtaking reunion with the One who has never left them.

I know this blog is supposed to be about my transition into a healthy and fit lifestyle. Praying for your friends and those who God lays on your heart - even if you have never met them - that is a KEY component to a healthy and fit lifestyle. We are in the pursuit of a deeper relationship with God. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, He is the One who designed the Body Of Christ to meet each others needs and to usher future believers into His open arms of love. That is Health my friends. That is being Fit for duty as your Lord calls your name and compels you to act on behalf of another. Listen up! He is speaking!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Making Peace...

We got into it today. Me and my Love. It was such a bummer for both of us. He was hurting and so was I. Both of us communicating the best we could amidst the little eyes and repeated questions of our sweet kids trying to figure out what the problem was.

I left, crying, to get to an appointment and he walked back in the house, heart hurting to attend to our fellas.

I hate it when that happens. Conflict is a fact of our lives, and it always hurts! We work hard to be honest, not interrupt each other, and never call each other names.

I made it to my appointment, gleaned some insight from an older and wiser friend, received some prayer and headed for home looking forward to making peace. When I arrived, he was not in the same mood.

We tip-toed around each other trying to be civil but not doing a great job of it. He headed off to run some errands and I completed a task he had asked me to do a couple of weeks ago that I put off, thinking it wasn't that big of a deal. It was.

I informed him before he left that I would be trying to find a last minute sitter so we could grab some dinner and work out our stuff on neutral ground where no one was likely to lose their temper. He said the equivalent of "fine".

So, sitter in place, boys contentedly enjoying their dinner and one of their favorite babysitters to chat with, we headed out. I could feel the peace once we settled into conversation about where to go for dinner and what birthday gift we were going to choose for our soon to be five year old. Appetizer ordered and drinks on the table, I plunged in.

I asked him if he was interested in hearing the wisdom I received concerning our situation. Knowing the trusted source of the wisdom, he agreed. I shared with him what was on my heart and the wisdom I had been given from my friend. He paused and agreed, that could be the issue. We talked a bit more about our afternoon's issue and again, peace reigned in the conversation.

It is amazing what a change of focus, location, and some time can do to bring two hurting people together, back into the connection we have enjoyed for over 19 years.

Our God joined us all day. He saw every angle, He heard our heart's cries before they were even uttered, and He knew only His peace would change our hurt into companionship. He loves us. He loves our marriage. He sees every flaw in both of us and He knows what it will take to draw us into deeper relationship with Him and each other.

Making peace is about choosing to love. Choosing to love when it is painful, inconvenient, and expensive is something God knows well. He has to teach us, one event, issue, and circumstance at a time. We can choose to love or not. We can choose to let Him make peace in us and for us. It starts with being willing. Are you willing? Today I was. He made peace for us. Thank you Lord.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pain of loss...

"There are no words."

That is what my friend posted after spending hours beside a grieving friend whose 18 year old son has just been released from this life into Heaven.

I am heartbroken as well.

We must love those who God has given to us.

Many have prayed, many have cried, and many have provided love, comfort, food, etc.

I love Zephaniah 3:17

 The LORD your God is with you,
       he is mighty to save.
       He will take great delight in you,
       he will quiet you with his love,
       he will rejoice over you with singing." 

 He does this for all of us. He knows what we need and when we need it.

I am overtired, eating unwisely, and emotionally sensitive/shut down, depending on the moment. I need this tonight. I will personalize this for me and I pray you read it to yourself and receive it for you too if this is what you need...

"the LORD my God is with me (every where I am),
He is might to save me (from myself and other circumstances and situations that are not needed to grow me into the woman He created me to be).
He takes great delight in me, (even when I don't do things right or well),
He quiets my anxiety/fears/concerns with His unending forever faithful love,
He rejoices over me with singing (so my heart, mind, and body can rest in the sound of His eternal voice)."

LORD, I receive Your plan, Your presence, and Your truth for me, regardless of how I feel, and how much I "medicated" with food today. Thank You for always hearing and knowing my heart. Thank You for Your provision for laughter and joy with my boys today. Forgive me for not accepting Your provision for me emotionally and providing for myself food for comfort. Thank You for forgiving me. I pray I will do better tomorrow. I love you Lord. Thank You!


My last words to my sons tonight as I tucked them in were of repentance.

You see, today was one of those days where I felt like I was slogging through mud. Emotionally, mentally and physically "thick", and not sure how to fix it either.

I yelled instead of following through with any or all necessary consequences. I was impatient and irritated with childish behavior. I had moments of encouragement for them, but mostly I was just grumpy.

So, I prayed. In front of them. I was tempted to turn off the lights and pray in the dark but I felt like that would be hiding from the truth. The truth is - I bombed as a mom today. When I prayed, I asked God to forgive me for all the mistakes I made as a mom today. I listed as many as I could think of. I then thanked Him for forgiving me and we went on with our usual prayers and singing time.

Then before I left the room, I asked them individually if they would forgive me for not doing what I knew God wanted me to do as a good mom. They graciously forgave me. Again.

I really want to do this "mommy thing" right. It really is a moving target. God is doing amazing things in them right now and I want to be with them for every precious moment.

A dear friend lost her son tonight. Someday my son will find himself in the arms of his Savior too. I have no idea when that will be. Regardless, I want to obey my God in how He has asked me to parent my sons, while they are in my care.

Thank you Lord, for the gift of repentance and the greater gift of Your forgiveness.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I am not only physically pushing myself beyond anything I have done before, I am finding myself stunned at the level of emotional exhaustion I am living in this week.

This season of my life, keeping my eyes on my Lord, being attentive in my marriage, raising 3 boys that are 6, 4, and 2, starting a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group at my church in September, and training for this triathlon is expensive. The price I am paying daily is worth every bit of effort, energy and enthusiasm.

My season right now is about coming alive. Moving from surviving to thriving. I have said that before. But it's not just about me. It never is. We are all designed to be in this life together. So it is about me thriving, so my marriage, my sons, the single, married, working or stay-at-home moms that come to our MOPS group, and those who are cheering me on in my triathlon endeavor can thrive too.

I think we often forget how important we are to each other. What affects me affects you, whether you live 2 miles from me or 2,000 miles away. God made us that way. We need each other. Every choice we make to slack off or push through or bust out, or break down affects those around us.

Today, as I was crying while a friend validated how tired I am and how hard I am working, I was reminded again - I am not doing this alone or for myself alone.

I am doing this because:
1) God put it on my heart over 20 years ago,
2) He said NOW is the time,
3) my husband agreed to support my challenge
4) I have friends who are cheering me on when I seriously can barely get out of bed (emotionally or physically), and finally
5) I WANT TO!! I want to push myself beyond what seems intelligent for a woman of my weight and age. I want to work hard for something I can do all the way to the finish line ('cause you know, dishes and laundry don't work like that...).

So, as I sit here with every muscle - especially my booty that worked extra hard today on my bike ride and run, aching, and exhausted, I am thankful for the pain, the challenge and the victory all over again!

Yes, the victory. It is in the bag my friends. I will cross the finish line. I will do this. One day, one hour, one minute at a time!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Approaching Exhaustion

I am so tired! I know people say that all the time and we all have our reasons. I know mine is a combination of little boys awake in the night or super early morning, an increase in my training regimen, and a decrease in my attentiveness to eating the super healthy good stuff that fuels my body for performance not just basic function.

Yes, I have been slacking on the fruits and veggies, the lean meats, the whole grains. Toying around with sugar, white flour and fruit juice instead of the real thing, and it is getting me no where. Fast.

So, today, approaching exhaustion, I don't want to cave to it all together! I am jumping back into the fit and healthy place so my body doesn't decide to shut down and get sick or worse - injured.

I am also reminded that I am fueling my head and heart as well. As I felt myself approaching exhaustion today I found my self talk becoming more and more negative and defeated. I reached out to my earthly "coach" Tarri for a pep text and she was there, faithfully reminding me to hang on.

Once I returned to my home, I knew I needed to get fuel from my Heavenly Coach and so I put on the worship music loud and got busy attending to the dishes, floors and other stuff in my house that needs attention. The boys are happily playing downstairs and it seems God has parted a way to refresh me in the midst of the activities of my life.

Many times when I approach exhaustion, I let the mental break down - like the body is threatening to do. I end up surfing the sofa, flipping channels or staring at the computer wondering what interesting nonsense I can post when my brain feels flat-lined.

Not today.
Today I reached out.
I reached up.
I got up and now, after posting this I will continue attending to the housework and the little people that need me knowing that exhaustion will retreat as I fuel myself with the things that bless my body, heart and mind.

Monday, August 2, 2010

One minute at a time

Some days are just like that.

With some of these workouts I am doing, I start them thinking, "sure, I can do this, I can do anything for thirty minutes, its not that long. I can waste that much time without thinking about it."

And then I start my workout. I walk for the first 5 minutes then jog a minute then walk a minute then jog a minute then stop and do a quick stretch and then I do the interval training. My training program started with run for one then walk one then run two then walk one then run three and walk one then run four then walk one then run five and walk one and TODAY was run six minutes then walk one. For thirty minutes. Sure. No big deal right? YEAH. Duh! I am still at 275lbs. Moving that weight on the treadmill, after biking 12 miles yesterday, was so hard! I made it through the first six minutes without too much trouble. The second (set - I call them that to make them seem more do-able) six minutes was really hard, I could feel every part of my body aching and groaning with the effort. The walking minute between the second and third six minute set was like a blink. I started rationalizing in my head that I could turn the speed down and go a little slower.

But, because I haven't shortened one workout yet. I have set my goals and I plan to achieve them regardless of my comfort at the time, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I HAD to just finish. I had two minutes left on my final six minute run when I made myself look out the window at the gym and RELAX. You see, even though I am in pain, I want to be present in the moment, not just be in a hurry to get it over with. I was in pain, dripping sweat into my eyes bad enough to make them burn, and feeling my heart pounding in my chest. The music playing on my ipod was One Thing by Rich Mullins. If you listen to it you will get into that place where I was, the moment, feet striking the treadmill with purpose, sweat dripping from everywhere, heart pounding out it's beat, mind focused on the PURPOSE of this whole event. Becoming ALL God created me to be.

If we are in the process of that, with goals HE set before us, we KNOW we can do whatever He asks. It is His will. It is His heart for us. It is a moment in time to celebrate the life He has given us. My childhood friend posted on my FB profile "It's not pain, it's a reminder you are still able and alive." I completely agree.

Every kind of pain has it's purpose. Do we let it change and shape us into people who love more, serve more, give more? Or do we allow our pain to wall us away from life, from loving, from serving, from giving. If you are not allowing your pain to change, shape and grow you into who you KNOW you were destined to be I encourage you to take a look at this:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - Jesus (John 10:10)

If there is loss, destruction and theft happening to your joy, peace, kindness, generosity, etc. I would suggest that the Thief is at work. The only way to change this - Ask Jesus to come into your life and give you life - the full life He has for you.

One minute could change your life. Pray, to the One who designed you for greatness, for goodness, for generosity and joy. He loves you. He wants you to be free to live. Just take a minute. Ask. He will answer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Getting Ready

This past month or so I have begun to prepare my body for the triathlon I have always wanted to do.

I have experienced a huge amount of emotions and such leading up to the big day.

Today I find myself excited and a little anxious about the 12 mile bike ride that I am going on in a few hours. In the gym I can do the stationary bike for about 30 minutes and do about 20+mph. However, on the road bike, I am a LITTLE more cautious about speed and such. I want to ride relaxed like I am learning to breathe and swim. But I can't seem to get past the constant focus on my numb and pained (how that can happen at the same time I have yet to figure out, and yet it does!!) booty to enjoy the ride. In the gym I put on music and worship and pray, on the bike outside I try to look at the scenery, breathe in the fresh air and such.

I want to push past the discomfort for the joy set before me - the completion of a task well done. Today's scripture I got from 411God seemed very appropriate.

Isaiah 35:5-6
5 And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind
      and unplug the ears of the deaf.
 6 The lame will leap like a deer,
      and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
   Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
      and streams will water the wasteland.

In Isaiah "He" hadn't come yet. It is referencing Jesus Christ. Well, He did come. He has done all of the above and more.

Please indulge my personalization of scripture (something I highly recommend!):

And since He has come,
He will open my eyes to see the beauty of His creation
He will open my hears so all I can hear is HIS voice saying "YOU can do THIS!"
My rear will be strengthened by Him, pushing the pedals and balancing my body
to accomplish the athletic endeavor placed before me.
The water I need for hydration will be abundant and I will not fall of my bike trying to get my water bottle out of it's cage. 
There will be enough energy to achieve my goals because God says so!

Ok, so it isn't a literal translation into direct personalization, but that is what my heart heard when I read those verses.

I will let you know how it goes!