Sunday, July 24, 2011

Goodbye Weekend, Hello New Week!

Another weekend comes to an end - unwinding from the first weekend back up north after spending the last couple weeks at home. It was a nice weekend. Yesterday was great. I woke up at 6:30 and went for a 3 mile run down to the end of the pier and back. It was really pretty as I got to see the sunrise over Pere Marquette Lake and the City of Ludington. It looked like it might rain, but the clouds completely disappeared and there was nothing but sunshine and blue skies the rest of the day.

My dad and I went down to the beach for a bit. We laid out in the sun and I read a book, which I finished today! I love summer reading - that makes two books I was able to read in the past week! Later on, we ordered a couple pizzas for dinner because it was too hot to cook. Then my hubby took me downtown so I could indulge in some Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownie ice cream from House of Flavors - DELICIOUS! Then we went out on my dad's boat for a little cruise. The pictures I have posted on here are from that little trip. There wasn't much of a sunset because the fog rolled in from offshore, but it was still fun!

Overall, it was a good weekend away and now I'm preparing myself for a rather full week. My brother and his family are in town and there are a lot of things to celebrate - my dad's birthday, our four year wedding anniversary, and then our good friends' wedding. Really excited to meet my nephew for the first time and to spend quality time with family - it's going to be AWESOME!

I finished reading the Book of John this weekend. After doing the study this spring based on the Book of Luke, I took the opportunity to leisurely read through the Book of John and see what new insight I could glean. I've read through John many times and am familiar with the stories, but new things did pop out at me and I was really inspried by the things Jesus said, the way He said them, and the way He was able to relate to the people He came in contact with. The Book of John really showcases the way we are to live our lives and what that means for us here on Earth, and more importantly, what that means for us eternally. I am blessed to know God more by reading through John's Gospel and pray that everyday I can become more and more like Jesus!

That's all for today. Here's to the end of a great weekend and the beginning of a fabulous week! Peace.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse #14

Already the middle of July which means it's time for my new scripture memory verse!

2 Samuel 22:33-34, NIV
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.

I came upon this passage as part of my devotional readings this past week and after my awesome race last weekend and for everything that God does for me on a daily basis, I thought this was perfect to focus on for the rest of the month. He is my strength! He makes me victorious!

So, I've been "on call" this week which means I've pretty much just been home after work and throughout the week in case something comes up with work. I actually had to respond and got some overtime this weekend, which will make for some nice extra cash! But, overall, it's been a pretty relaxing week. I'm happy to report that two weeks away from up north enabled me to catch up on things at home - mostly cleaning and organizing - which is really great because soon my brother and his family will be here. I am so excited to meet my little nephew, Jace Ryan, for the first time. I can't wait to hold him, cuddle and snuggle with him, and spoil him in love! He's so cute!

Being that I've pretty much been at home this week, I was able to finally finish The Hunger Games series which I had started back in the winter months. I really liked the first and second books, but found the third to be pretty dark. However, I feel overall that the series is really good and I am looking forward to the first movie to come out next year!

I also recently finished The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg and LOVED it! My aunt and I decided to read this as a book study, which is perfect as there's questions and verses to go along with each chapter. Much like the book I read last month by Angela Thomas, it describes characteristics of God, namely that He is...


Breathtakingly Beautiful

Amazingly Wise

Surprisingly Talkative

Wildly Infallible

Outrageously Generous

Unbelievably Stubborn

Abundantly Kind

Deeply Mysterious

I love what she writes in the first chapter, because it's such a reflection of how I feel at this point in time with regard to my relationship to Jesus...

"I want to discover God again, anew, in a fresh way. I want my love for him to come alive again so that my heart dances at the very thought of him. I want a real relationship with him - a relationship that isn't altered by perfumes, additives, chemicals, or artificial flavors that promise to make it sweeter, sourer, or tastier than it really is. I want to know a God who in all his fullness would allow me to know him. I want a relationship that is real, authentic, and life-giving even when it hurts." -pg 20

Amen, Margaret! I fully agree and long for the same thing with Jesus, the Lover of my soul! Praise God for speaking to my heart through this book! He is so GOOD!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A New PR!

As part of my half-marathon training, yesterday I was scheduled to run 3 miles. I decided earlier in the week to sign up for a 5K because it's 3.1 miles, the competition is invigorating and motivating, and I get a t-shirt which only adds to my ever-growing!

I woke up early yesterday morning, ate a lite breakfast, had my morning devotional and prayer time, and then made the 30 minute drive to the race location. Honestly, I was a little nervous once I got there. I hadn't raced since March, right before I started my new job and of course, before I broke my foot. I've been running every other day the past two weeks, but wasn't really expecting a whole lot time-wise. (I suppose you could say I was just going to be happy if I finished the race without walking.) As part of my prayer time, I had specifically asked God to be with me during the race, for His power and strength to be within me. Let's just say - He came through.

I began the race feeling "slow" and for whatever reason, I had a horrible ache in my abdomen. But I pushed through it, telling myself to "keep going, you can do it." There were a couple hills and I found myself just blasting right through them and then picking up the pace to the finish. I wasn't sure how I did because I didn't see the race clock as I passed the finish line. So, I waited for the results to be posted...

Finally, after probably a half hour to forty-five minutes of waiting, the results were in! I looked for my age group, found my name, and dragged my finger over the page to the right to see the results. Shock. Awe. Unbelief. A smile. I had finished the race in the Top 10 for my age group (#6) with a time of 24:37 (pace of 7:56/mile) - my fastest time yet! A new PR! To say I am happy is an understatement - I am THRILLED!

This is really a testimony of God's power and strength in the life of a girl who is wanting to live her best for His glory. As I said before, I haven't raced since March, I spent 7 weeks not doing any cardio due to my broken foot, and I only started running hard again in the past two weeks. This can only be God working out His goodness and faithfulness in my life. I praise Him and offer thanks to Him for being with me and allowing me to experience this victory. It encourages me to keep up the hard work and affirms that "I can do everything though Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)." In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Just wanted to write a quick post to say how blessed I am to live in freedom and how grateful I am to all the troops (past, present, and future) who put their lives on the line to defend and serve this amazing country! God Bless America!

I also wanted to share some pictures from a little trip we took on my dad's boat last night. We decided to take the boat from Ludington to Pentwater to watch the fireworks from the water. It was a perfect night for us to make the 10 miles journey - the water was smooth as glass. And the colors of the sunset and the reflection of it off the water was absolutely breathtaking. It was like being in the middle of a painting with God Himself as the artist. He is so creative and beautiful! While on our little trip, we decided to put some lines out as well, and luckily, I got to catch my first fish of the season - a Steelhead! It's the little things in life that make it all so sweet!

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy July!

A new month is here! And we're back up to our home away from home for the long holiday weekend! Gotta love the long, hazy days of summertime!

I survived my first week back to work after our week off. I had a productive week, and not only that, my anxiety seems to be more under control. I've been starting my days off in a posture of prayer and submission to God and I know that's really made a difference. I even attended a prayer meeting at the church this week, and I am so grateful for the prayers that were lifted up on behalf of our women's ministry and for us as individuals. The power of prayer is something I have definitely come to appreciate more of in my relationship with God. Daily communication with Him helps me to stay connected to Him and there is no better way to get through the days.

I started my training schedule for the half-marathon I hope to run in September. Altogether I completed 6 miles total. It feels good to be back on track - the simple act of running is so freeing and it totally helps to empty my mind of anything negative. When I complete a run, I feel not only a sense of accomplishment, but a sense of refreshment. I thank God for healing my foot and allowing me the pleasure of being able to get back out on the road.

So, because it's the beginning of a new month, that means it's time for a new scripture memory verse. I came across this verse yesterday as part of my daily devotional reading and it just really spoke to me. Like the last verse I chose from Psalm 62, it speaks of resting in God, but it also speaks of His love and care for us as His children. It's a good reminder for me - He is in control, He is my strength, and He is the God of my life - Hallelujah!

Deuteronomy 33:12, NIV
“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields [her] all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

Before I close, I must mention that I have been working more on having a balanced life. I'm proud to say that I have been giving more time to relationships (both with God and people) rather than my "to do" list. It's a process for me - it's hard to let go of the "going, going, going" but I know that I need to take care of myself and be able to foster and nurture those relationships I cherish so much in my life. I'm still on the quest for balance and wholeness, and I know it's in someways a lifelong journey because we won't really have this completely until we are in Heaven, but it is what I long for and keep working towards, with my eyes focused upward towards God. He is mighty to save!