Marathon: The Journey of 26.2, Part 3

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Summer hit. Colorado’s sunshine finally gave way (it snowed May 1st!). We had some traveling to do in lower elevations and I was eager to feel that advantage.

Our first trip was in June to the San Antonio, TX, area. I was going to run 5-6 miles and my father-in-law joined me for the first one (before blazing his own trail, of course).  Holy humidity, Batman. I needed gills. Or scuba gear. I think I managed to do 4.5 miles. Pretty sure I’ve been swimming and gotten less wet.

A few weeks later, we were in my hometown of Claremore, OK. My dad joined me for a ‘little’ 3 miler. I should’ve done 6. Again, I was no match for the pouring sweat glands and saturated air.  Then, in July, I was back in OK. I did some better planning nutritionally (read: drank a boat-load of water). I needed to get in about 9 miles. My dad ran 6 of it with me! Folks, this guy is 59 years old. It was a big deal for him to run 3 with me last month. For him to pull out 6? You bet I finished my 9!

In August, my husband’s brother and his wife came for a visit. So us girls decided to take off for an ‘easy’ 3 mile jog. Surely I’d have the upper hand since I’m acclimated to 5,000 feet. Nope. She ran my legs off and I almost puked!

So while my summer was full of its challenges, I realized the gift running gave me that I never would’ve expected: time with people I love. From my father-in-law, to sister-in-law, to my Dad, I treasured every painful step.

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I’m Not Just “The Wife”

sad-brideI’m writing this for one reason only: my daughter.  I want the world she grows up in to be better than the one in which I did.

That’s not to say mine was all that bad.  My parents loved and cared for me beautifully.  I went to the same church, under the same pastor, my entire upbringing.  My dad was a deacon.  We were highly, no, extremely involved and I loved it all.  But there was a void I never knew existed until recently.  You see, I didn’t have anyone ever say, “Women can’t preach/lead/teach/pastor/whatever…”  No one even whispered under their breath, “A woman’s place is not speaking behind a pulpit.”  In fact, I was raised under a doctrine that supports all of that.  Still, I heard these messages loud and clear.

Here’s where all the women were growing up: directing women’s ministries (my concept of it was a home decorating party that made women feel obligated to buy stuff), leading children’s church, teaching Sunday School, cooking for all the major church meals, and singing.  I can recall one woman speaking behind the pulpit.  I think she was a missionary sharing her testimony.  That’s it.

And here I was.  I knew God was calling me to a life of ministry.  I can remember saying often that I was going to be a preacher’s wife.  There was man who would always say, “No, Amy, you’re gonna make someone a preacher’s husband.”  I always laughed, because it didn’t fit the mold I was given.  I could sing.  That was the obvious choice.

And sing I did.  I loved it, and even earned a degree in it.  So I led worship in whatever church we were on staff at.  There’s nothing altogether wrong about this.  However, it took me years to discover a greater call in me to speak.  I was single when I graduated college, and a few mentors encouraged me to get as many letters behind my name as possible.  I was gonna need it in this highly masculine world called church. So I made sure to get my license to be a minister.  After I got married, I went on to becoming ordained.

In the last few years, I sort of figured this whole speaking thing was something new about myself; as though God had placed an entirely new gift in me.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  When I sit and think about it, I can remember nightly sermons I would preach to myself in front of my dresser mirror in my bedroom.  And boy, I could drive a point home!  Getting ready for school, I would have messages burning in my heart to say to nobody but my hairbrush and curling iron.  And what about the man who always talked about my preacher’s husband?  Why did I never recognize this glaringly obvious call to speak?  Because there were no examples in my world.  None.

That brings me to today.  When my new ministers card comes in the mail each year, it’s addressed to me, then “Mrs R M” (my husband’s initials).  When I go to a minister’s meeting, oftentimes my name badge says “spouse”.  Listen, I’m not trying to get up in a tissy over little things people are probably doing unintentionally.  This isn’t me being some kind of uber-feminist coming in with my elbows swinging trying knock down the men.  No, this is me saying I’ve been set back from my calling for decades because what we SAY is acceptable is a far cry from what we DO.

Pastor, if you don’t have a woman on your speaking schedule this year, you are overlooking an awesome opportunity to let a highly qualified and anointed voice bring the Word to your congregation.  Denominational leader, if your name badges/addressing systems for mail aren’t recognizing women for who they are on their own two feet, you are diminishing a divinely appointed call on a life.  Young lady, if you feel a message always stirring in your spirit to speak, don’t wait for a mold to open up for you, break that mold and preach it!

Changes need to be made within our churches.  I don’t want this just for myself.  I want it for my little girl.

5 Reasons Why I’m Coaching For Fit Pastors

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January 8, 2014, FitPastors.com is officially launching and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. (Read all about what it is here). Here’s why:
1. I want to help women in ministry get healthy. They face their own set of challenges that often contribute to poor eating habits and no time for exercise or self care.
2. I want to help ministry families. I have one of my own and understand how important it is to get easy, inexpensive, and nutritious meals on the table. Keeping health a priority in the home will benefit our families in every area.
3. I’ve dealt with my own set of soda and fast food addictions. However, most people would say I shouldn’t worry about it because it never caused me to become overweight. This is where godly character steps in and makes changes. While my waistline wasn’t affected immediately, my long-term health would’ve definitely taken the hit.
4. I bring a woman’s perspective. The Fit Pastors team recognizes the importance of having a well-rounded approach to coaching men and women in their fitness. We believe both genders should be present to accomplish this.
5. I believe, passionately, in a good splurge. Yeah, you read that right! Just like in the Bible, there is a time and place to feast. The trouble is, our over-indulgent society has misconstrued this entire concept. I want to teach ministers how to indulge appropriately without letting the sin of gluttony raise its ugly head.
This is going to be a life-changing experience for so many. I love that I get to be in on it!!! Click here to enroll in the academy! Do it today for an early bird 10% discount using EARLYBIRD for the code! While you’re at it, share this post on Facebook or Twitter!