50 Followers

Well, I want to thank all of those who have signed up to read what I have to say. I realize in today’s standards, having fifty people follow you is not worthy of its own blog to some, but to me, you know I’m going to find something to say about it 🙂 Continue reading

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Running and Deployments

run

I was running on the treadmill the other day… slowly. My head started doing what it often does when I begin running, telling me I wasn’t going to complete the two miles I set out to run. I pushed the thought aside and kept putting one foot in front of the other as an upbeat song played on my iPod and motivated me to keep going. Before the song ended, I looked down at the treadmill screen that read .25 miles completed.  I was one-eighth of the way done and that is when it hit me: I CAN do this. I have done it before.

I was that kid in middle school that couldn’t run. It wasn’t a lack of grace or asthma, it was my inability to breathe correctly, leading to me passing out near the finish line every time we had to run one mile in P.E.  As an adult, I decided I wanted to begin running. I bought a book, read magazines, and began building my mileage. After accomplishing 8 miles I decided I was ready and wanted to train for my first marathon. I completed my training through 16 miles and felt very confident that I was going to be able to cross off an amazing feat for the “pass-out-girl”. Three days after I ran my 16-mile run I was scheduled an easy-four. During that run I tore my meniscus and my Paris Marathon was cut short by 19 miles. (I attempted, stubborn me, and made it to mile 7 before getting on the “injured bus.”)

Then I started thinking… this is just like deployments. When my husband deploys, in the beginning there is some doubt, concern, and struggle. (I think it’s natural) However, just like running that two miles, I need to remember that I’ve done this before. (Even longer than this one.)  Then I realized the following juxtaposition of running and deployments: Continue reading

Just… What are you JUST doing?

Just smoking pot. Just having sex. Just eating a 1,080-calorie cinnamon roll, and just three days a week. Just running. Just eating rice, nothing else, for four days now …

Depending on how you define it, “just” can be good or it can be bad.

Just

When I made the decision to become a runner, my entire training plan was to run. Just run. And let me tell you what happens when you choose to run a marathon – yes, the full 26.2 miles- as your first event, and all you do to train for it is run: You get injured.

run

The reason is, it takes more than just strong legs that have grown accustomed to the pounding of the pavement; or feet that grow callouses and develop the strength to keep pushing off, minute after minute, hour after hour; or a heart that settles into a rhythm as your endurance grows with each run.

It also takes a good core, to maintain the correct posture so the back, hips, and knees are aligned the way that is necessary if you want to avoid overuse injuries or pain and stiffness. It takes the right nutrition in order for your stores of energy to sustain you instead of provide a high for mile one (maybe two), then fizzle out and make you crash.

There are plenty of things in our lives that we are just doing. “Just smoking pot.” Maybe for now, but that may lead to harder drug use. {Not necessarily as a gateway drug, but by exposing you to other drug users and the influence that has on a person.} Why risk that?

JS Continue reading

Hurricane Irma – The gift that keeps on giving

Weeks after Hurricane Irma blew through our city and we cleaned up all of the fallen branches and debris, I came home from my walk to find a large branch in my yard. It had been snapped during Irma, but on it’s descent from the tall tree, it’s branches latched on to others and it hung, dying. This morning I broke off the dead branches and hauled them to the curb.

branches

As I was walking back and forth from the large branch to the curb where are yard waste is picked up I began thinking about my previous post about Irma and the storms of life. Because we had just moved into this house, had not yet pruned everything back and prepared for the storm, Hurricane Irma dropped quite a mess in our yard – revealing our failure to plan.

This morning my thoughts quickly pointed to another dead branch in my life that I thought was cleaned up and hauled away, but my recent birthday proved otherwise. I’m a twin and, as explained in my book (Resurrecting the Wrong Life), I spent most of my childhood in her shadow, wanting someone to acknowledge me. Being a twin, you’re oftentimes grouped together in everything – as if you aren’t your own person (at least that is how my mind painted it for me. All. The. Time.)

So, two days ago was our (see what I did there?) birthday and, as usual, my mom posted on Facebook a joint “Happy Birthday” post to her twins. On that post, many of my sister’s friends and some of mine commented with their birthday wishes. My twin also posted a birthday wish on my page, where many of my friends and some of hers commented their birthday wishes. (Roll your pants up, honey, it’s getting petty quickly in here.) Only a handful actually posted a birthday wish on my page – and to me alone, even fewer.

petty

As petty as it was (and yes, I recognize it was petty), it put me in a bad mood on my birthday (on OUR birthday.) Add to that, I had told my husband I didn’t want a gift for my birthday, just for the family to spend time with me (that’s my love language.) So, what did he do?

He didn’t get me anything.

<Increased pettiness and pity party balloons hung>

So back to the branch that fell weeks after the storm.

branch

Here is what I learned this morning – Sometimes in life, the storm will come and drop a mess in your life that you’re forced to clean up. (I did that when I wrote my book.) However, sometimes a couple branches (issues) are held back from falling, only to drop later – revealing they still exist.

I discovered on my birthday – actually the day after when my sister, who is reading my book, pointed out that I was upset because I hadn’t really dealt with feeling like ‘leftovers’ and not being my own person growing up. Another branch just dropped in my yard that I thought was long gone.

Storms are messy. They can leave a mess in our lives that is visible to those around us for days, weeks, months, and even years. (#PrayingForPuertoRico) But they can also lodge a couple branches of our past out of sight, long enough for us to clean up the initial storm, but later drop them onto the scene so we can deal with them.

 

Shake your trees, honey. You may  not be over something from your past that is lodged in your high branches. It just takes one strong wind to bring it crashing to your yard for the world to see. Are you ready?

 

God did something… what was it?

All too often in our lives we can recount all of the funny episodes of our days but struggle to remember the things God has done on a daily basis. Are we walking through life ungrateful?

 Well, if you want to be truthful with yourself you’d see that you are.

Things we miss out of because we’re too busy complaining, are desensitized by society or have put things before our relationship with God are:

The fact that we woke up this morning

Our health

Our needs being met

Our salvation – so many people are praying for their loved one’s salvation and yet we all seem to forget to thank God for our own. It truly is the greatest miracle and yet we overlook it as something to be grateful for.

Those times God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way

There are so many things that God does, gives, says to us that we pass up the opportunity to thank Him for because we don’t consider the blessing it really is to have a God that speaks to us, works on our behalf and has in store for us.

Why not spend a moment today just thinking about the things He’s done for you this week? I bet you could list a dozen or more.

God does something every second. Try and point some out. They’ll make your problems, fears and failures a lot smaller.

I Want to Love

I listened to your unfeigned voice,
the emotion in your falsetto;
I watched your face illuminate
as you sang about your love;
Hearing the words you chose,
such sweet poetry of the heart.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 5
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 4
Let me live.

You create a brand new zeitgeist,
the candor in your song.
The evident way you love them
paints an enviable bliss.
Your convincing melody is
an anesthetic to my pessimism.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 3
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 2
Let me live.

You articulate my dreams well;
the ones that carry me to heaven.
You cauterize this hemorrhaging heart
stabbed by a cruelty of selfishness.
Your ability, willingness, to open up
to want for beyond yourself.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 1
Let me fall
Into love like this
Into love like this

Golgotha beats a Full house

Place the hot coals on my lips
As I deny such a disquieting vice
Rip off the fingers that reach
For the pistol prepared for roulette
Sear my eyes closed while I walk
Down aisles offering to satiate
Shove a stick or two and beat my drums
So I no longer hear these demons hum
A ransom has been offered
For the child to come back to Sheol
Back where she can play and laugh
Laugh at
Emptiness
Foolishness
Randomness
Ignorance
Stupidity
Tripping
Slipping
Sinking
Further
Down.
Place the paper on these trembling legs
As I try to pen some of these feelings out
Rid myself of haunting words
For a chance to rest tonight
Sear the portal existing
Down in the nadir of despair
Shove back the devils that tempt
So tonight I do not succumb
A ransom was offered
For this child to overcome
Back on a cross at Golgotha

Strangers so Close

Don’t judge

you really don’t know me

You can tell me what my favorite color is

it doesn’t mean you know the color of my heart.

You know what my favorite song is

but you don’t understand the song of my soul.

You recognize my voice in a crowd

but you’ve never really heard me

You accept all of my idiocycracies

but you really don’t get me

You really don’t know me

Don’t judge

Surrounded and Alone

Seven people live in his house

but he was all alone.

Six people work in the same room as him

but he was all alone.

Five days a week he has lunch with three

but he was all alone.

Four hours on Friday he plays cards

but he was all alone.

Three siblings in his family, all very close

but he was all alone.

Two years now he’s been married

but he was all alone.

One is the only one who could save him

from being all alone.

Your Love Brings me Through

You not only hear

The cry from my soul

But You hear every tear

As it hits the floor

 

You not only love me

When I do right

But you love me with

All my faults and my lies

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.

 

I not only want

With my mind to love you

But with my strength, my might

And my heart too

 

I not only want

To never fail You

But live my life So I

Don’t fail others too

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.

 

Bridge: I live

             I lie

             I learn

             You love

             You lift

             You turn

             Spirit

             Help me now

             Open my eyes

             Show me how

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.