Search This Blog

Friday, February 5, 2010

8 months

8 months ago, after much deliberation and resistance and false starts, I lifted weights for what I hope will be the last first time. In spite of hating exercise, in spite of unbelievable soreness, in spite of hating exercise (oh wait, I said that already), I did it anyway. Every stinking day I drug myself to the weight machine or to the tv for an exercise video. I gasped for air, I collapsed mid workout. I hated exercise. But I was stubborn and persevered.

I had not exercised regularly (read "at all") since going to work 7 years ago. Before that I used to walk with friends, and many moons ago I attended some group fitness classes at a gym. When I began to heal from my eating disorder, I no longer exercised in public since it was a trigger to feeling fat.

When God began to tell me about needing to exercise so that I could be ready to go when He said, "go," I was resistant, to say the least. I never dreamed that it would turn out to be one of the most beautiful journeys I have ever taken.

In a random turn of events, I discovered running. I began struggling with frantic, labored breath to run 30 seconds. Then I could run 90 seconds. Then 2 minutes, then 5, then 10, and finally 45 minutes.

When I run, I feel free. I have no stress, no responsiblities and no agenda. I am beautiful and sexy and a woman. Not mom, wife, or teacher. Those are all beautiful roles that I play, but sometimes it's nice to just be my own person for a little while. It is in running that I have discovered intimacy with God that I have never known. It is in running that I have rediscovered my passion for life.

A few weeks ago I joined a gym. That has been a huge struggle for me. It has turned out to be a lot of fun. I struggle with my body image more when I am there, but I have found that my God is faithful to give me strength in this crazy journey that doesn't yet make sense to me.

8 months ago I put on a bikini and made some before pictures. Today I put my bikini back on and made follow up pictures. I can see a dramatic difference in my body shape. Unfortunately there is no way to photograph the dramatic difference in my soul.

I have been unable to run now for several weeks due to a calf injury. Tonight I pushed myself really hard to see how it did. I was able to fully exercise on it again, even jumping. I am anxiously awaiting morning. You see in the morning, I am going to slip on my running shoes, set the iPod on some Norah, and hit the streets to see how much I can run after such a long break. For an hour before my family awakes, I am going to be a beautiful, sexy woman basking in God's presence before I plunge back into my crazy day filled with responsiblilites and self doubt.

I can't wait.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Love Coffee

Waking up to the dark, rich aroma of freshly ground coffee in the morning is the catalyst that drives me out of my warm cocoon and into the day. The best mornings are the ones where Shawn has preset the coffee pot, and I can hear it dripping from my bed.

We recently ran completely out of coffee before our next shipment arrived. We order our fair trade coffee from It was worse than the time we ran out of toilet paper. I guess we could have bought some Folgers at Wal-mart, but we were expecting our good coffee in the mail and did not want to waste the money. I was grumpy, I was tired, and I felt deprived. When our shipment was delayed, I splurged multiple times on Starbucks, and then I discovered the local gas station has decent coffee for 96 cents. I was late to work several days because I had to stop off to buy coffee. One morning, a parent in my classroom heard that I was without coffee, and delivered an entire carafe to my classroom. It was in the best interest of her child.

When our new coffee arrived, I was as excited as a child at Christmas. I carefully slit open the bag, deeply sniffing my freshly roasted beans. I put my scoop of beans into the grinder and pushed the button. My son, sleeping in the bedroom next to the kitchen, did not appreciate the RAAAARRRRRAAARRRR of the grinder prior to 5 a.m. Me? I could only hear the Hallelujah Chorus.

I filled my supersized mug and sipped all the way to work. With every sip, I swished the coffee around my mouth and my tongue practically danced for joy. I savored the warmth slipping down my throat. I relished the rush of energy to begin my day. All was now right with the world.

I love my coffee.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday Morning Update 1/31/2010

Sunday was a great day at The Crossroads. Our children's ministry exploded with excitement. It has moved to a new level of quality, fun, and excitement. The kids learned more about worship, and ended the time with a celebration by throwing 11 huge garbage bags of confetti into the air. While requiring many more workers, it is much better for the number of children we now have attending. I can't wait to see how our church will be able to reach more families.

Shawn preached another sermon about "Money Matters." This one was all about what God has to say about debt. It is cool to see how he is taking the budgeting and money management stuff seriously. I think God will bless him as he seeks to be a good steward with our resources.

Worship went well. I honestly have run out of ways to say it was great. So I'll just say, "It was great."

Sunday night I went down to Birthday Blessing in Plano. It is a nonprofit organization that does birthday parties for underprivileged kids. It is such a great idea. I was grateful to have the chance to help out with parties for 6 kids and their families. I got to share the story of salvation with all the families. I don't know that I have ever shared the gospel with that many people in one day. I was so nervous, and the circumstances were not really ideal, but it went okay. A couple of families were even interested in our church.

I paid dearly for the exhausting weekend. Monday I had one of the worst migraines yet. I went to bed right after school - around 5:30 - to try to catch up on sleep and make the headache better. It helped lots. I'd appreciate prayers about the migraines. They greatly interfere with my life.