Friday, November 11, 2011
My bestie and I were just discussing fitness this morning, as we always do (among 1000's of other topics we can cover in a period of time while indulging in pumpkin soy lattes and splitting a cinnamon crunch bagel). We have always enjoyed "sweating." Well, maybe I should qualify this. She's always enjoyed sweating, as her days of an athlete/well above average active woman far surpass mine. Me? I have just learned to enjoy the roll of a good shin sweat over the last 4 1/2 years since I decided, or rather, God decided, that I owed it to Him and to my family and friends to be not just "OK" before Him, but to be EXCELLENT in all I strive to do, for His glory, which yes folks, includes your health and fitness! So, sweat quickly became my friend.
Sweat has so many scientific properties and is perfect for what the body needs (cooling down, releasing toxins, etc.), but sweat is also a good sign of a job well done in using the body as it was created. So next time you sweat from being "overly active" or as a result of a effective, quality, hard workout, think of it as "liquid awesome," or as "fat crying," but always think of it as a huge work of God to remind you that your body is a machine that was created BY Him and FOR Him!
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16
Thursday, November 10, 2011
9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Thanksgiving. Such a beautiful word filled with thoughts of elementary school studies (you remember seeing kiddos in your lunch room being replaced by little people wearing construction paper pilgrim hats and Native American head dresses/feathers), lining the tables and enjoying what was considered a "Thanksgiving Feast," ala public school lunchroom. It's a word filled with thoughts of family. Of being together with those you love, and some, you do well to love, and sharing laughter, food, football on the family TV and thoughts of Christmas knocking loudly at the door. It's a word, that combined with the words, "after," "day," and "sale," brings excitement to the hearts of serious (or crazy, I'm not sure which best describes this tribe of people yet, even though I have been privy to what is known as Black Friday) bargain shoppers who wish to get the best things for the least money!
But, what is Thanksgiving? I am not a linguist, but I do love how the day that we celebrate in our country as the day that two groups of people came together to unite, even for a day, and celebrate freedom and friendship, is made up of two words: "thanks" and "giving." And as I sit to ponder this post, I wonder how little that I really think of either words as being crucial to that particular holiday, or, any day for that matter? Personally, I have more than I can even begin to type or even categorize in the way of "things for which I am thankful," and when it comes to actually "giving thanks," do I equally do more than enough of that to account for my many blessings? I won't bore you with the hundreds of things I can spout off when it comes to things that bless me, all beyond what I deserve, but I do wish to challenge you, as well as myself this season of Thanksgiving.
May we all not only recognize the people, things and most importantly, the God who wishes to give His children (who aren't worthy) good gifts (and by gifts, I don't mean nice cars, fancy homes or the latest Apple product), but may we then turn and give to others out of our abundance. Out of our abundance of funds. Out of our abundance of "yard sale" boxes. Out of our abundance of time (and yes, we may feel spent, but we always have more time to give for the things that matter most to us). Out of our abundance of food. Out of our abundance of hope. And most importantly, out of our abundance of the joy, which comes down from the Father of light, who does not change like shifting shadows, who not only wishes to give us good and perfect gifts (James 1:17), but who then wishes us to share all for which we have been given with those who may be lacking in their abundance, even this very moment!
Thanksgiving. May it be truly a season for us to be thankful, but also, to give. . . sacrificially, joyfully, abundantly, freely, as Christ has given to us!
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
November 1, 2010. It was a date that I was dreading and a date that I longed for! It was the day that we officially moved to a small town in southern Ohio known as Hillsboro. It was the day that I had eagerly been anticipating, as it was confirmed over and over by questions answered and opportunities granted. It was a day that I equally loathed, as I would no longer be living in my "Old Kentucky Home," of which I had never known any different in my then 31 years. It was a day that made my heart full of joy to not only see my husband be able to spend his days doing what God had made Him for, as a minister of the gospel, but to also be able to spend more time around the dinner table as a family, to snuggle up on the couch after the girls went to bed because he no longer had 4 hours of class that would keep him from home until after 10 pm, and even, to have him work next door for impromptu lunch dates and errand runs together! It was a day that made my heart full of sorrow, to know that our families, who had been just 15 and 45 minutes away, along with all of our beautiful friends, were now going to be 3 or more hours from us. It was a day that I anticipated new friendships, of which God has continued to grant and surprise me with in His creative ways of connecting me to so many beautiful and unique women in and around this community!
It was a day of laughter. It was a day of tears. It was a day of hope. It was a day of fears (sorry, I really didn't plan the rhyme!).
It was a day. And above anything that my heart and head were telling me, God was whispering His peace to me: Peace in the timing, peace in the location, peace in the tears, peace in the laughter. That He was sovereign. That He was in control. And that in it all, He knew I would be here way before we knew, and that Joshua was His physical reminder. A reminder here in this place of uncertainty. A reminder that God is always present and that wherever He is, is my home. Joshua and I had always said early on in our marriage, that no matter where God may lead, with God as the center of our marriage, wherever we are together is HOME!
So, here we are. November 1, 2011 marks our year anniversary as Hillsboro, Ohio residents. It's been 365 1/4 days! Each day has been different, like everyone's days. It's not been an easy transition some days! Other days, it's been smooth sailing. Truth be told, I miss my family. I miss my Target strolls with a Starbuck's cup in my hands. I miss my 5 minute run to the mall to grab something quickly. I miss the bright lights and the strolls downtown Louisville, one of the prettiest downtowns around. I miss all of the wonderful little eateries in the Highlands. I miss dropping into my mom-in-law's beauty shop, just to get a quick hug and say, "I love you." But in those moments, God still whispers to me that He is home, that Joshua is home and that as our little family cuddles together in the cold, dreary days or runs and giggles together on the warm, sunshiny days, I'm never out of place. Joshua is my other half. With him, I am one. With him, I'm always home. God's design for marriage has so many implications that I don't understand, but I am not one to question when each day is made sweeter with the home that we continue to build together, in Christ, no matter the city, town, or "'boro!"