identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

unanswered prayers

unanswered prayers

I thank God every day that my ex-boyfriend and I never got married.  That was 5 years ago and I can’t imagine where I’d be if we did.  I can only think lonely, depressed, and unhealthy.

So, sometimes He says, in His infinite wisdom, “No.”  We may be hurt and cry and pout but, in the end, we thank Him, because like an earthly father he is acting in our best interest, even when we think He’s being unfair.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the saying – God has 3 answers for our prayers: Yes, Not Yet, or I have something better for you.  It’s so true, right?

I love this illustration of how we want to hold on to something so badly we don’t see what He has for us is so. much. better.

Just-trust-Me

We only need to trust.  Are you trusting today?  What is God asking you to let go of?

Core of Christmas

If you follow me on Instagram, you have more than likely noticed my latest posts.  In December, I decided to start the #CoreOfChristmas challenge.  I absolutely love everything about Christmas, from the music to the lights on the tree to the excuses to get together with more people I love.  With so many people running around trying to “get things done” and buy gifts, I really wanted to just focus on Jesus for this season.  After all,  that’s what it’s all about, so in comes the “core” of Christmas.

I decided to combine my love for Jesus with my love of fitness.  We will be doing a different core exercise every day and meditating on a verse to keep us in the present.

coc

I have teamed up with my lifelong friend, Courtney, as well as friends I met through faith and fitness in social media, Tiffany and Bobbi.  I’m hoping you will join us!  Did I mention there are PRIZES??  Oh, yes, we will be drawing names on the 12th and 24th of December.

Here is a look at the past few days!

Day 1: elbow plank & Proverbs 31:17

plank plank2

Day 2: bicycle crunches & Psalm 139:14

bicycle

Day 3: superman & John 16:33

superman

Day 4….check us out on Instagram!  Can’t wait to see you join in on the Community we are forming.

 

and if not…

Perhaps that is why, in His bewildering mercy, God sometimes shatters our fondest dreams, or at least allows them to be shattered.  (Whether He is the cause or merely allows it to happen, the result is the same.  And in the midst of the pain, the distinction doesn’t always seem important)

In His sovereignly run universe, the unthinkable sometimes happens–the nightmare we thought we’d never have to face.  And no relief comes, sometimes not for years.  More frequently than untested Christians expect, God removes the one source of joy and meaning that we were counting on to make our lives worth living, and replaces it with nothing.

These are the words from Larry Crabb’s “Creating a True Spiritual Community” that I was reading as my phone rang a few weeks ago.  I received news that my grandmother was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  No one could tell me what had happened or what they were doing.

I’m a thinker and sometimes I think that I think too much.  What’s going to happen?  What am I going to do?  What can I do?  But the truth is – God has already thought it through.  He already knows where it’s leading and where it came from.  He knows.  We always hope that the outcome will be good, that we will like His plan, but that’s not always the case.  We have to remember those wise words of Ann Voskamp:

And if not, He is still good.

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.

john 1_14

Do you have any traditions to honor Christ during Christmas?

 

the marathon

Isn’t it crazy that a single word can bring feelings of joy, peace, and excitement… or feelings of fear, anxiety, and sheer panic?  There is no other race that exudes so much emotion for me.

I’ve been thinking recently after watching this video (see Stage 4 – Isolation) …

…to run a marathon “successfully” you must be comfortable with yourself.  You must like your own company.

I, a single woman of 30 with no kids (this means I have a lot of alone time), have never felt so alone than around mile 22 of a marathon.  Yes, there are people all around.  Volunteers.  Other runners.  Spectators.  Walkers.  But at this point in the race it doesn’t matter.  I am always inside my own head, and heart, for that matter.  Sure, you can talk to others but there is still this feeling of “I’m all alone.”  It’s not a bad feeling.

For me, it’s…

I did this am doing this.”

I put in this work.”

My legs and feet have gotten me this far even though they hurt like they were run over by a Mack truck.”

You have to love you and you have to be proud of yourself and your accomplishment to carry yourself all the way to the end.

Heck, I am even supremely proud of my friends when they complete marathons!  I actually started writing this post when I found out that a new dear friend, Beth from Running In The Word had just completed her 2nd marathon when her first was a mere 3 weeks earlier!  I was shocked, amazed, proud, and humbled.

But I knew one thing.

I knew how Beth kept going because I know it had to be painful.  You see, Beth’s body and mind are full of the Spirit.  She was praying, praising, and probably sometimes crying out to Jesus because in all reality, we couldn’t do any of this without Him.  (As I do on my runs – short or long)

So what I’m saying is, I like to take credit but in the end all the glory goes to the One who has saved us from ourselves.  The One who cares for us unlike anything we could fathom.  The One who loves us unconditionally.  Therefore, I’m going to take the motto of totally awesome CrossFitter, Rich Froning – Galatians 6:14

the marathon