Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm QUITTING....or not.

Some day I totally get it. And then there are many others where I just don’t. Why are some days easier and others a struggle?

As I was running on Thursday, my drive to QUIT was in full gear. Here’s what happened:

Start running (I had asked JT to vary the route because I needed something different. Maybe this is what initiated my quit reflex.)

Ran 1 mile and kept thinking about how I should cut it short today. Only 2 miles, maybe 2.5.

No, I would have to mark my chart with a yellow (warning) color instead of green. I don’t want that.

Who cares? I don’t. Most of my runs have been greens. One more yellow is just fine. I seem to have a problem running on Thursdays anyway. Maybe I should just take Thursdays off. I don’t run as well on Thursdays. I think Thursday should be my off day.

Walked for a short time (30 seconds), started running again. Ran until 2 miles.

Headed toward the bathrooms. Maybe I just go to the restroom and then start over. Might as well run and not walk to the bathrooms.

Don’t have to go to the restroom anymore. JT is off on another trail. I could just sit here and check the news or my e-mail.

Oh, I’m at 2.1 anyway. Just run to the entrance and get to 2.5 before seeing JT again.

There he is. He’s already at 2.75 and I’m not to 2.5 yet. Run with him.

He made it to 3.1 and I’m at 2.75. Wanna quit again. This is close enough and further than I thought I would go today. I hate Thursday mornings.

Might as well go to 3.1. Keep running. Okay, done. Thursdays are just not my day to run. I finished but it was ugly.

It was a constant mental battle to run and stay focused. I walked a little and just stopped several times (turning off my app so that the time standing wouldn’t affect my overall run time). It was NOT pleasant at all.

There are days when I can run a 5K without many issues (it is still a struggle but not as much as other times). And then there are Thursdays, which clearly are not made for running. And I just want to give up at every turn.

My desire to quit is overwhelming at times. The enemy fans the flames and speaks lies to me. Quit. Stop. Who cares? What does it really matter? You have plenty of time? It’s not a big deal. No one will know.

But, God’s Word tells me differently. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 is clear. “Run in such a way that you may win.” What? How will I win if I don’t even finish? Winning a race is not likely in my future, but not quitting is. That’s success for me. Verse 25 speaks about exercising self-control in ALL areas. Oh, how I have struggled here. Food and exercise. Both have clearly seen a lack of self-control and an abundance of laziness and giving up! I need the Holy Spirit to take over every area of my life, and I must constantly surrender this part of me. Running without quitting is a matter of self-control…focusing on Christ and His call and not on the enemy’s constant nagging. Then there’s the whole “buffet my body and make it my slave” (v. 27). I have so failed in this area time and time again. I have allowed my mouth to decide what to eat without even giving it a second thought. But, my body should be a slave to God’s design for me and not the other way around.

Warren Wiersbe says this: “We cannot be good athletes merely by being spectators. If we are merely spectators, the only muscles we will develop are our eye muscles! (Well, maybe our vocal cords, too.) Somebody has defined a football game as an event in which thousands of people who need exercise pay for the privilege of cheering for twenty-two healthy men who need no exercise. Of course, it is much easier to be a spectator than a participant—except when the event is over and they give out the prizes. Then we will wish we had gotten out of the stands and joined the team. It isn’t too late to start running.” (Wiersbe, W. W. Be what you are: 12 intriguing pictures of the Christian from the New Testament. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House)

This is a lifelong battle for me and for some of you. We must continue to keep going even when we don’t want to. Our feelings and desires cannot determine when and where we will obey. Battle on friends, battle on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This...

My journey has been a rocky one. And I know that many of you relate. There are minutes, hours, days and weeks that are good, and I see God’s hand working in mighty ways. And then there are times when I feel the pangs of defeat and the enemy’s laughter haunts me.

So, tomorrow will mark a defining moment on this road…registering for a marathon. There’s a surreal feeling when I type those words. It’s an out of body experience…or more like an out-of-my-mind-what-am-I-thinking-dear-Lord-please-help-me kinda thing. But, I am drawing a line in the sand, and I’m sticking with it.

This is where we sense the Lord leading us, and we are scared stiff. JT and I are committing to running a marathon in January of 2015. That means training starts in June. So, we have to be running 3-4 miles at a time at least 3 days a week by then. And we are already doing that. We will have to continue and be consistent (which is not necessarily the case right now).

Between friends and people who have shared this same struggle…I am so afraid. A great fear of failure almost paralyzes me at times. I want to run the marathon. I don’t want to run the marathon. I think I can do it. I don’t think I can do it. I want to succeed. I want to quit. Oh, the dichotomy of feelings that run through my veins. Can you relate?

Please pray for me and I embark on this part of the process. I NEED your help. First and foremost, I need people who will pray that God would continue to teach me from His Word about taking care of His temple. Second, I need people who will consistently ask me how I’m eating and how much I’m exercising. I covet your help…and I am thankful for you and your support as I run this race!

Monday, April 14, 2014

These are the days of our lives...

Did any of you ever watch soap operas? Raise your hand. I see you, and I feel your shame. As a teenager, I was woefully addicted (the disadvantage of so many summer days away from school). Days of Our Lives was my favorite. I followed the lives of the characters as if they were real people, and I held a grudge for years if things didn't go the way I thought they should! As a junior in high school, I checked out of school to see Greg and Jenny get married...I said it was for a wedding. Please throw your rotten tomatoes at me now. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but there's the truth.

Though our lives do not resemble any on tv (unless it's a cartoon), here's the goings on around here lately:

1. Our boys are officially drinking 4 gallons of milk a week by themselves. They are 10 and 8. Lord, please come quickly or give us a cow.
2. When asked what she would do if she was pulled over by a policeman, Elly promptly replied, "I would get out my birtha ticket." I laughed so hard I could hardly utter "birth certificate."
3. Kaitlyn now has a job. My life is over.
4. Madison loves science more than anyone I have ever known, and it scares me and makes me happy at the same time. She'll make a great doctor one day.
5. Jett has improved in soccer greatly. Last week he fell down while shooting for the goal, jumped right back up and kicked it over the defender and goalie's head. I was the mom jumping up and down on the end of the field.
6. Being the first person to use a cleaned porta-potty is a highlight of my Saturday morning runs. It obviously takes little to impress me.
7. Being the last person to use a porta-potty at the soccer field requires me to hold my breath for approximately 45 seconds.
8. Zeke Turner can no longer wear regular pants but requires loose fitting in order to accommodate the massive thighs on that boy.
9. JT has officially planted our garden. I am grateful. I will be more grateful when it produces something.
10. We are studying Leviticus in our daily Bible reading plan. Thanking the Lord for one of our pastors, Jim Shaddix, who helped the kids understand it better this past week. Listen here for one of the best teaching tools on sacrifices.
11. God has brought so many discipleship and counseling opportunities our way lately, it's a bit overwhelming. Tired but privileged.
12. Before you ever give to a non-profit that you think is doing God's work, please check out their financial statements on this website. You can learn a lot and will know exactly where your money is going.
13. I'm getting my mojo back with running...happy me.
14. We only have 4 more weeks of homeschool...happier me.
15. JT and I could be chauffeurs in our retirement years. We have plenty of experience. We will take tips.

It's such an interesting life, huh? Just my thoughts for a Monday that had to get out and onto the screen. I don't have room for them in my head anymore.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Why is it such a struggle to honor God with my body? Why do I make excuses and complain? Why do I want to give up so easily?

Our recent trip to Guatemala was a good reminder of God’s call to be holy in what we eat and how we treat our bodies. God confirmed for me over and over again that He has given me everything I need to make healthy choices. There is NO reason for an excuse…NONE.

I walked into homes with dirt floors, filthy sinks and outdoor plumbing. Climbed the stairs in a ministry just outside the city dump where the kids were not able to eat lunch yesterday. Today, they were feasting on watered down black beans. Followed a Guatemalan lady down a dirt path to a dilapidated home with dirty dishes everywhere.

Our friends there must purchase fruits and vegetables every other day just for freshness, and healthy foods are much more expensive. It is work for them.

I can drive to Publix five minutes away and buy any healthy foods we need. I have a nearby park where I run and a local gym to workout daily.

It is MUCH more difficult for people in other countries, especially those in impoverished areas, to eat well and find time to exercise outside of their jobs. So, what’s my excuse? I have NONE.

Just last week I was reminded that iron indeed sharpens iron. My friends Nellie and Megan woke up early each day to take care of their temples. I joined them and sweated like never before. We couldn’t run due to safety issues, so we had to be creative. We each had a jump rope and some bands, and a deck of cards! So, we used what we had and pushed each other to improve. Oh, how thankful I am for these women! Just because we were in another country was NO excuse for not working out and staying healthy.

And then there was THIS morning...storms all night...waking up every 15 minutes...foot hurts....James Spann on the tv at 3 in the morning (you know you are in trouble then) soon as my eyes opened, I just made excuse after excuse. But, God's faithfulness prevailed. He got me out of bed and into workout gear. I grumbled the whole way. But, it was good, very good.

So, what’s your excuse today?