Who are you competing with?

Just the other day, I was listening to a podcast while getting ready and I felt overcome with anxiety.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of my worry.  I was listening to totally inspirational stuff.  The woman’s voice coming from my phone was glowing with excitement at the adversity she had overcome only to lead her to the absolute top position in her company…also my company. Then, boom.  It hit me.  I felt like I was in competition with her.  This feeling has plagued me since I joined.  I was always wondering why other coaches had too many messages to answer, while I was fighting to get people just to respond back to me.  Once again, that feeling of I’m just not good enough had crept back in.  The enemy.  He hates us.  He knows full well what gets to each one of us and he feeds into it. I stopped, looked in the mirror, and thought, “I have never been good at competing with others, but I am great at competing with myself.”  I have always been an athlete, but one who fights to better herself every day.  Any time it came to racing another person to a goal, I froze and failed. I was competitive cheerleader through high school and college.  Long-distance, 2-time marathon, runner in my mid-20s.  To a short-lived Cross-fit stint between my two marathons. Oh yeah.  I can compete with myself.  That’s what I have always done.  And you know what?  I can beat myself, every single time.  I know that truth in my heart.  I learned new stunts and routines.  I beat my fastest running times.  I lifted more weight and more reps.  I. Can. Beat. Myself.  And I am the only one standing in the way of myself.

God has not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power and love and self-discipline.

I will not let the enemy keep me from my dreams, because that’s what he does my friends.  Did you know that?  If you are feeling not ready, apprehensive, nervous, that’s because something BIG is about to happen.  You just have to decide, are you ready to fight for it?

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.

Wednesday Wonderful

Wednesday-Wonderfulz-final-2-300x300

Ok, I’m joining a blog link-up with Lynda from fitnessmomwinecountry and How My World Runs this week.  We are sharing some of our favorites of all things.  I’ve never done a link-up like this before so this is something new for me.

Here goes:

Right now, and always, I’m loving Yogi hot tea.  I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine/coffee intake so the tea is a great replacement for now.  I love Yogi because it comes with so many different flavor for specific needs.  Here are all the ones I have now….someone may have a problem…

tea

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp has turned my life around.  She has taught me how to love and live life fully right where I am.  Not looking for the next thing or a change to make me happy, but seeing the good in every situation.  I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, there is good in every situation.  I was a bitter Betty before reading this book and now I try to see the Light and shine it where ever I go.  Of course, I still struggle with bitterness, jealously, and disappointment, like we all do, but I’d like to think I’m getting over it more quickly now that I am letting gratitude run my life.  I have counted and named almost 100 gifts.  I will make it to 1000!

1000gifts

So, I think that’s all I’ll share for this week.  I’ll be sure and have some more “wonderfulz” #yeswithaz stored up for the next link up in 2 weeks!  Be sure to check out all of these awesome blogs!

What’s your favorite this week?

Oh, and don’t move AT ALL

womp womp womp womp. BANG BANG BANG BANG.  CLANGITTY CLANGITTY CLAGITTY.  CLANG CLANG CLANG.

real

Yes, my friends this is what it sounds like inside of a MRI scan.  I only had to be in there for 14 minutes but that was long enough.

The technician handed me ear plugs as I laid down.  The machine was already making a noise.  I didn’t think I really needed the ear plugs for that.  I could handle it.  After all, I am a first grade teacher.

He told me that would hear a lot of banging and not to move AT ALL.  Well, ok then.  (Truthfully, my knee started aching about halfway through.  I think I was holding my breath because I didn’t want to do this again.)

All week I had been fine.  “I’m not nervous about the MRI,” I told co-workers and friends.  “I am more nervous about the results and what’s to come,” I said.  This is a girl who spent the majority of her teens in tanning beds.  (I know, I know.  I don’t go anymore but I did during 2000-2001 prom season.)  Surely, it couldn’t be any worse than that.  I mean, a tanning bed actually closes over you.

Ok, here’s the truth.  That noise was scary.  Not in the way that I felt like I was going to be harmed scary, but in the way that haunted houses are scary.  You know that nothing’s actually going to happen to you but there’s still a healthy fear there.

Not only was I in this tiny enclosed space, but it was so loud.  Literally, my head is throbbing right now, but inside there I was not hurting.  I was nervous.  Irrational anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks.

I just started praying and praising.  Worship over worry, right?  I’m thankful to be healthy, to have an able body, even if I can’t run right now.  It will come, all at the right time.  I could be battling much scarier things than a bum knee.  I know that and do not want to take that for granted.  I’m grateful the overabundance of people who care about me and share a common thread in my life.  I’m overwhelmed by the love I feel that I desire to share what I can with others so that they may make their lives shine brighter.  As the name states, I live with an overwhelmed heart and for that I express gratitude.  So, no matter what that scan reveals, I know that I have enough.

gratitude

 Have you ever had an MRI or a scarier scan?

What has your worse injury been?  How did you overcome it?