Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Run 2011

So, I feel like running away... just putting on my shoes and running as far away as I can... anyone else ever feel that way? There's something I haven't talked a whole lot about on here, namely because it's a rather depressing subject and not something I'm really proud of...but since this blog is all about living a free and transparent life, I'll just say it: I'm unemployed. It's a challenging situation. Here I am, a master's level social worker with almost 2 years of experience in the field and I can't find a job. The state of Michigan currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, so add to my predicament that I am competing with thousands of people just like me. I get online and say to myself, "Today will be the day I find my job," and it always seems to be the same result: the feeling of discouragement and wanting to crawl into a hole and cry my eyes out! I know, pathetic! Enough of the "boohoo-ing" ... I'm making a commitment to myself to keep pressing on and doing my best to find the right job for me before my unemployment ends in April. I have to stay positive and not give up. As much as I love to run, NO RUNNING AWAY! I have several people who love and support me and are praying for me on a daily basis and for that, I am so incredibly grateful. I know the Lord will provide. In drawing closer to Him, He's showing me that He does have a plan and I need to trust Him in these adverse circumstances. So, I shout out to Him, "I trust you, Lord" and that is that! Gotta keep on keepin' on!

James 1:12, The Message
"Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life."

So, with that out of the way and still staying on the subject of running, I have to share that I invested in a new pair of running shoes yesterday! Yay! Thanks to my husband and mom who provided me with plenty of gift cards to my favorite athletic store in the area, I now am the owner of a brand new pair of Brooks Ravennas and two new PINK running outfits! So excited! It turns out my old shoes were way too big and heavy for my feet now that I've lost all this weight. (I knew my feet were shrinking because my dress shoes used to fly off when I was going down the stairs at my previous was somewhat entertaining until I almost flew down the stairs myself after losing one and tripping up the stairs...geesh!) Anywho, I love these shoes and am so looking forward to breaking them in and seeing where they take me. I also have the 2011 race schedule for this area, so I've got to start thinking about my next race. I'm thinking I might do one as soon as February, but we'll see how I feel and what this weather does before I make up my mind.

I like to think of running as a journey. It's such an amazing experience once you can actually do it without losing breath or endurance. It's been transforming for me. It's become a tangible way of setting and achieving goals, having new experiences, and connecting with people in a different way. It's this habit now that I can't imagine my life without. Who would have thought I'd ever say that? I absolutely love it and I am so thrilled to see how God will use running over the course of this year to draw me closer to Him and do His growth work in me. I can't wait!

Here's to running in 2011! Cheers!

Monday, January 24, 2011


The theme of this season in my life is all about intimacy with God and allowing Him to really be the love of my life. My bible study (Jesus, The One and Only by Beth Moore), the sermon series at my church (Get Dusty), and now the book I picked up over the weekend (Crazy Love by Francis Chan) are all on centered on one thing: Jesus Christ. To be honest, I'm really enjoying it. Of all the topics in Christianity to focus on, this has got to be the best and biggest, more important one to think about and discuss.

Jesus Christ. Son of the Most High God. Savior of the world. Ultimate forgiver. The full embodiment of love, joy, peace, mercy, and grace.

In my weekly bible study lesson this week, Beth Moore poses this question: "What does the name Jesus mean to you?" I essentially wrote down what I mentioned above, but the question stuck with me over the weekend and I got to thinking...

Jesus means everything to me. It's the name I pray in and to. When I'm anxious, I repeat the name Jesus over and over again until my anxiety subsides and is replaced with peace. When the name Jesus comes to my mind, I envision the gentlest, most compassionate person who is walking beside me (sometimes carrying me) as my best friend. The name Jesus restores my confidence and encourages me to live a bolder and brighter life; a life just like His. Jesus embodies all of my hopes, dreams, and deep longings. Jesus is a name I want to grow more familiar with and emulate all the days of my life. Jesus.

Lord, you are AMAZING! I ask that you would breath life and a new word into this girl's heart, mind, and soul. I know that Your love is better than life itself. Allow me to let down my walls and to give my all to you. I pray to have the very best that You have to offer. Lord, hold nothing back! I love you and I thank You for the love You have for me. You're awesome and most worthy of praise! In the magnificent name of Jesus Christ, I pray this, Amen!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ocean Sunrise

It was early enough when I woke up a couple days ago to catch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. I took pictures as it rose higher and higher in the sky, allowing for all these nuances as the sun hit the water and streamed out through the clouds. It's such a peaceful experience - before the world awakens with all it's demands and pressures, this majestic phenomenon takes place each and every day. For me, it points to something bigger, something better, something lovely, beyond my wildest imaginings.

The beauty of the sunrise lead me to the scriptures. I looked at verses with the term "sun" and was inspired as each one pointed to Christ - namely His peace, righteousness, healing, glory, and radiance.

Luke 1:78-79 (The Message)
"Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God's Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace."

Malachi 4:2 (The Message)
"But for you, sunrise! The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking."

Isaiah 60:1-2 (The Message)
"...Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God's bright glory has risen for you. ... God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you."

Psalm 34:5 (NIV)
"Those who look to him are radiant."

I love how God used an everyday event to draw me closer to Him. I don't know if I'll ever look at a sunrise the same way again after this experience. It's more than just a beautiful sight to me now. It's hope and the promise of love by a God who is watching over me and passionate about being in relationship with me. He is so good!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Psalm 65:11, NIV
"You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance."

Happy New Year!! I can't believe it's already 2011. Time is just flying's hard to believe that I was just starting this a year ago!

2010 proved to be an incredible year with all of it's many blessings, including but not limited to: completing 4 bible studies, losing 30 lbs, buying a new house, selling our old house, and traveling to a multitude of places. It's really amazing to me what God did in our lives this past year. Although the year ended on a more challenging note, namely losing my job and the difficulties that come with unemployment, I am hopeful that 2011 will be as good or better because God is faithful and His love endures forever.

With a new year comes new goals and aspirations for the betterment of the future. I have taken the time to write out all of my goals by category. I would say that my overriding goal is for God to be involved in every aspect of my life and that I would become a better, more stronger person in Him. I hope that every part of my being would be radiant with His presence and that I would be obedient to Him in all things. I tend to get full of myself and think I can handle life without Him, and the truth is that I can't do it! When I rely on myself, I fail and make everything more difficult. But with Him, everything is possible, good, and true. I need Him more than anything.

I hope to blog more in the new year and I pray that this would not only be a positive outlet for me, but a positive influence on those who read my personal account.

In closing, I am ending with the first verse I'm choosing to memorize as part of the 2011 Scripure Memory Team through Beth Moore's online blog community...

Romans 15:13, NIV
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."