Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Endurance and My Birthday Present

I have two things to talk about today.

Last week I asked the Lord why it was SO irritating to me when the boys spilled something. My reaction seemed to be way over the top most of the time. It didn't make sense to me. After all, they are little kids and they do spill. Normal right?

Yes, that is right.

The word He whispered in my heart was endurance. I found this definition online - the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina:

This season of my life is VERY messy. If I'm not cleaning messes, they are or I am trying to get them to pick up their messes, or dealing with the fallout of a mess - like spilling milk all over the table, shoes, jeans, shirt right before we have to leave for school. What frustrates me is the constant perpetual messes and the need for them to be cleaned up. 

I am thankful for my little "mess-makers" and I wouldn't trade them for a nice clean house any day, but I do grow weary of it. That is why I liked the definition so much. 

When God spoke to me about endurance, my attitude changed. After all, I have endured a lot of things in my life and "messes" are by far the smallest and easiest things to handle well, especially when you consider the high stakes of my child's heart. Since then, my response is not frustration (well, maybe a little bit-sometimes) but patience and tolerance for the learning curve they have. 

I forget that they are still learning to pour milk, eat dinner without elbows, plates or siblings crashing cups, and brush their teeth without gunking up the sink with toothpaste. I supervise all of this stuff, but let's face it, I am outnumbered and being everywhere at once is just not possible.  Now, I just clean, or help them clean thanking God for the little people He gave me to clean up after.

Speaking of Endurance...

For my birthday, I am going to do a small triathlon at the gym. There will be no timing chip, no transition area, just me, the gym, and 2 hours of child care for my youngest fella. 

My plan is to swim 400 yards (1/4mi approx), bike 8mi, and run 3mi. I may have to cut my run a little short just to make sure I get back to pick up my little prince within the allotted time, but I am going to go as far as I can. 

Why would I do this? Because I CAN. I am going to celebrate entering into my 40s with the strength and fitness I have been working so hard for in the past 2 - 3 years. 

Celebrate with me tomorrow by doing something active that is going to bless your body!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bumpy Day

 We all know that having a crappy day happens. It sucks, but it does. Yes, I am being non-classy in my word choice, please pardon my rough edges.

I have spent the last 10 days or so walking in this place of razor sharp discernment and wisdom. I have been hearing God's voice clearly and spoken many words of life into many hard situations and to precious people. I should have been ready when stuff went sideways, it often happens that way.

Marital communication breakdowns (yes, we all have them), kids dumping soap down sink drains while water is running foaming it to overflow, pouring water outside of the bathtub, soaking freshly laundered clothes, cleaning up the same mess 7 times in an hour, desperately longing to enjoy my fellas instead of discipline and train them in wise choice making, and trying to figure out how to deal with household maintenance concerns without disrupting anything major... it all adds up to one really stressed out Mommy.

But it didn't have to.

I have been exercising, eating right, praying, staying in the Bible, basically doing everything I know I should be doing for optimal results and yet, the enemy of my soul still managed to whisper a lie into my head that I believed...

"Nothing is ever going to change - you will never get organized, lose weight, be a great mom, make your husband happy... etc."

It is a lie. But I didn't shut it down and immediately speak the truth in my heart or out loud to blast it back to the dark territory it came from. So it festered like an infected wound for the last couple of days until it finally surfaced when a convergence of not terribly unusual circumstances reared their annoying but not disastrous heads.

THAT was when disaster struck.

Now that I have been prayed for (it takes a lot for me to post a "SOS" type status on my Facebook page), the fog is clearing and the truth is surfacing...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (Amplified Bible)16Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);    17Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];    18Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

Now, I personalized the above verse for my situation today:

I choose to be happy in my faith and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always), praying without ceasing and persevering in that prayer (even when the sink is foaming and the tub is being emptied manually), thanking God in my challenges of communicating in my marriage because I have a wonderful husband that loves me and his family and it will always be worth the trouble to sort out our misunderstandings. I will give thanks for my Love and the children I begged God for because it is His will for me to walk this road. I will learn I am not defined by my circumstances, He defines who I am. He is the revealer and mediator of His plan for my life. I can give thanks because God's perspective is much more broad and wise than my understanding of any of this. 

Thank you for your prayers. Please forgive the extra words, I am still not functioning on all cylinders. But God is good and I will be fine... now for a nap.

I must add - despite my momentary desire to bag my NO SUGAR eating plan due to today's stressors, I DID NOT CAVE!! I finally ate a wise portion of healthy food and leaned on my strategies to prevent failure instead of wiping out my vision for success. Yay! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ironman 2016 Part 1

Yes, I said it, I threw it down like a promise and a threat.

I have spent months praying about whether or not this is a commitment I should make to myself or not. Should I tell anyone or not? I finally told my Love and my health coach.

A part of my weight loss process was to write a "Success Vision" - what happens when I reach my goals, what does my life look like when that happens. Here is what I wrote:

My success vision:

It was three weeks ago today that I stepped on the scale and saw the number I worked so hard for. The size clothes in my closet remind me it is true. When I look back I remember some of the pain of it all, but I mostly remember the blessing of the journey.

I let go of half of my body weight. It is strange to look in the mirror and barely remember what the other girl looked like. I never want to forget her. She is the one who worked so hard to get me to where I am today.

I have spent the last year working my body very hard. My heart and mind had to quit making excuses, reminding me that I was strong enough to finish this race. Along the way I was sure I’d never make it, but I kept practicing, improving my skills with consistent disciplined thinking and actions.

Six months from now I am scheduled to have the breast reduction surgery I have been waiting for since puberty! I am so excited to get these girls reigned in once and for all!

I enjoy stretching my cooking skills and navigating new cookbooks only to concoct my own amazing recipes. It always makes me smile when my “healthy” food is gone before Aunt Bessie’s fried chicken at the church potluck!

I raced my sons at the track today. They still think they can beat me, but at least for a few more years (before their legs are longer than mine!) I am faster. It cracks me up that the girl who said she would only run if chased is now the elementary school cross-country coach. Whodah thunk?

I am so thankful to finally have completed my teaching degree. The skills I learned while losing this weight really made a difference in my self-confidence in my practical application of the teaching credential and my study techniques. It is amazing how, once you have conquered one big thing in your life, you suddenly believe that anything is possible. Even graduating from college with kids in elementary school! (I have since decided this will wait until after Ironman- too much to do it at the same time)

Next month I will compete in my first Ironman. I have no doubt that as I swim, bike, and run I will recall all the miles it took to get me here. I look forward to my 45th birthday in a few days and know that this journey, though incredibly uncomfortable, was worth every second of effort. 

As you can see I have thought this through... now to walk it out, every day. One meal, one swim, bike, run, workout at a time.