I Choose You.

I have been doing a study on What Happens When Women Say Yes to God with a beautiful friend of mine. I didn’t really know how I’d feel about this study when we started it but, I have to say, it’s been life-changing, for me anyway.

If you read my very first post here you know that I absolutely love to worship.  Something stirs up inside me and pure joy flows out.  If I could spend my life in praise and worship, I would have no worries.  I would have no cares….and that’s what I’m going to do.

Lysa TerKeurst says in her book, “When we focus our minds and fix our attention on Christ, He is magnified and made bigger in our lives.  When we focus our minds and fix our attention life’s obstacles, they will be wrongly magnified and made to appear larger than they really are.  Our attention is like a magnifying glass – whatever we place it on becomes larger and more consuming of our time and energy.  We desire to focus on Christ alone, but sometimes other things seem bigger, and so, without even realizing it, we shift our focus.”

Wow.  Those words really spoke to me.  What could be so important that is it worth the time and energy I give it?  Only Christ.  Only Him.  Nothing else is worth it.  Because I will be let down by every single other thing and person in my life, as I will let down people in my life.

Therefore,  I choose You, God.  I choose to worship You.  I choose to praise You in the storm.  I choose to not worry because I know it is all in Your hands.  I choose You because You chose me.

Are you a worrier?  How do you move on?

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What are you implying, New Year?!

It’s that time of year again.  You know what I’m talking about…

brace yourself

I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  It has just never occurred to me.

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In all seriousness, I have always tried to make a change (resolution, if you will) when I see that said change is needed.  When faced with a challenge necessary for my overall well-being, I’m motivated right then and there to get moving on it.  As I wrote in this post, I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be.  I hadn’t quite made that change but I was ready.  Change was imminent.

I am very glad that I didn’t wait until January 1st to pull myself together.  Enough pouting over no-running already, there are other things I can do and still get my endorphin high!  I have found that thing.  By all means, make your New Year’s Resolutions if you do!  You’ll be very happy you did come next year.  It’s like they say, if you had started a year ago, you’d be there already…or something like that.

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Are you a resolution kind of person?

Do you usually stick to them?

What’s a resolution you’ve stuck to (New Year’s or otherwise)?

Did I use “change” too many times in this post? (I searched synonyms on thesaurus.com but “revolution” and “transformation” seemed too dramatic.)

Double Dog Dare Ya!

Ok, you guys, I’m hosting my first ever challenge group!  If you’re anything like me, you are going to enjoy lots of goodies over the holidays and not think anything about it.  And that’s okay.  Everything in moderation is what I say.

But come January 1st, I’m sure many of you have resolutions to lead healthier lifestyles.  Instead of fighting the crowds at the gym, why not workout in your own home?  I love working out at home!  (I’m currently working on that blog post.)  Where else can you be completely comfortable and not worry about other people?  Whether you are concerned about them looking at/judging you or when they are going to get off of that machine you really want to use, you may not be in love with the idea of a traditional gym.

That’s where a challenge group comes in!

Here’s what you get:

-10-week pre-planned workout plan (only 25 minutes each!)

-Once-a-week group workout for those in the Tri-Cities area

-Easy, peasy nutritious meal options

-30-day supply of Shakeology (designed to help you lose weight, reduce cravings, improve digestion, increase your energy and stamina, and not to mention make your hair and nails look fabulous)

-A private Facebook group for support (No one will be able to see these posts except for those in the group)

-Daily inspiration from yours truly!

-Free coaching!

If we aren’t already facebook friends, find me at www.facebook.com/overwhelmedheart or to join the group go to www.beachbodycoach.com/healthniki and click on “Challenge Pack” to get started!  (Please leave me a comment so I can find you!)

I can’t wait to take this journey with you!!!

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How do you stay in control over the holidays?

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

anticipating Christ

Last week, my team and I spent time teaching our first graders about “Holidays Around the World”.  We did something we don’t normally do.  We rotated classes.  We passed our 4 classes around Tuesday-Friday.  By Friday, they were back in their “home”rooms.

When I learned of what we were doing I freaked out a little bit because I didn’t know what holiday I was going to teach.  They had already taken Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and St. Nicholas’ Day.  I did a lot of research via the internet.  Lo and behold, I found out about Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition of reenacting the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

Las Posadas is celebrated for 9 nights, symbolic of the nine months Jesus was in Mary’s womb.  Each night, there is a procession.  Participants carry candles and sing songs, traveling from house to house.  Until, at last, they are allowed inside, where a huge celebration takes place.

Can you imagine being Mary or Joseph?  I mean, for real.  How would you feel?  How would you react?  Would you be like Mary and Joseph?  All accepting and trusting?  Or like Zachariah, told of John the Baptist’s soon arrival, doubting and unbelieving?

I would like to think I would be like Mary but I think that my reaction would be more like Zachariah’s.  “How could that be?”  “It’s not possible!”  God, teach me to trust you more fully.

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Do you have any traditions to honor Christ during Christmas?

 

Read any good books lately?

Since it’s gotten colder, I have been reading a lot more and I wanted to share my favorites with you!

I have always loved to read.  I read so often when I was a kid that my parents made it a rule that I could not bring books to the dinner table.  I think I ruined my eyes by still trying to read my books by streetlights after dark on long car rides.

book hangover

I’ve been reading a lot more since the holidays have begun and I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favorite books of all time.

10.  Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover

total money makeover

This book has completely made me realize the life of “Financial Freedom” I could be living.  I had no idea that I really had so much hidden money.  I have already started paying off debt like crazy.  I can’t wait to be free of student loans.  That’s the one I’m “snowballing” right now.

9.   My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso

my life on the run

Bart has written an amazing memoir of his life, which began with unhealthy addictions and an is now focused on his running and being CRO (chief running officer) of Runners’ World magazine.  He has run, literally, all over the world and is a vivid storyteller.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are a runner.

8.   Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

captivating

Stasi and John Eldredge tell the story of how God made us, women, in His image.  We have so many of His beautiful traits that we never think of when we think of Him as a man.

7.   Follow Me by David Platt

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This book taught me what it meant to be a “follower” of Christ, rather than just a believer.

6.   Same Kind of Different as Me

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True story, co-written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, captures what it was like for the most unlikely friendship  to have developed crossing over social and racial boundaries.  In the most difficult of circumstances, they were brought together, somewhat unwillingly, by Ron’s angel of a wife.

5.   The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

hungergames

If you’re too lazy or don’t like to read, watch the movies.  I feel like they really have captured books amazingly, so far.  I like to read books because I feel like I get so much more background and history that they can give you in 2 1/2 hours.

4.   Crazy Love

crazy love

This is the first book I read when I truly came to know Christ and develop a relationship with our God.  I never knew what that meant.  I always thought that I could pray to God, but that he was just this unreachable omnipotent being in the sky.  I did not relate to Him.  I didn’t know that I could.  I didn’t realize that this was the most meaningful relationship I would ever have in my life, here and now.

3.   Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

order of the phoenix

I read all of the Harry Potters but this one was my absolute favorite.  *SPOILER ALERT* I remember boo-hooing when Sirius died.  Harry had just gotten a family and then he just lost him.  It was so unfair.

3.   The Giver

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The Giver was required reading in school one year.  I didn’t mind, because, ya know, I was a reader.  Other students may have felt differently.  The deepness of this book is something that I, as a child and teen, could not understand but I still enjoyed it’s concept.  As an adult reading this book, I see so much more of what Lois Lowry was telling us.  It tells of a world that we don’t live in and we can’t possibly imagine.

2.   Kisses From Katie

kisses from katie

Katie’s courage and fierceness is unmatchable in this world.  She has a heart for God and for these children.  She, a well-to-do high school student, went to Uganda for a short mission trip and never really came back home to Brentwood, TN because she fell so. much. in. love.  I laughed and cried all throughout this book.  If you read no other book this year, make it this one.

1.  The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me!

bible

The Greatest Story Ever Told.  Truth.  The Word.  No matter what you call it, you should read it.  If you had asked me in my younger years, I never would have believed that I would pick this book up and read it…for pleasure and growth, but I do.  Usually not as much as I would like, but I am working on that.

Now, do you feel like this?

reading

What is your absolute favorite book that I should read?

#injuredrunnerprobs

I haven’t run since the Haunted Half relay and very sparingly before that. I didn’t even really get to train for Big Sur like I should have. I started feeling the beginning of the end in January of this year… and now it’s December.

I did the majority of my marathon training by pool-running at a local gym. I spent months in that pool, rather in the great outdoors listening to my totally awesome playlists, like I should have been.

I have gone through many ups and downs wading my way through this “run-less” life. I will start running for a while and then my knee/calf/hamstring flares up again.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me.  That’s not the purpose of this post.  I am just sharing my thoughts like I always do here.

I have started Focus T25 so I’m hoping that will help me gain some strength and possibly some speed (one can dream!) when I finally get back to running.  I just finished Week 1 and am feeling great.  I finally have a plan too.  As a runner, I am so used to having a training plan to follow that I just go to shambles when I have no plan.  I think I’ve said it before – I am a planner.

But so is our God.  Our God.  Who am I to doubt?  I know that He has a great big plan that I can’t see because I am right smack dab in the middle of it.  I know that He wants more for his child than I could ever fathom for myself.  Therefore, I’m trusting Him and praising Him all along the way.

What has been your longest/worst injury?

How do you deal when you are sidelined?