The Lolligagger

8601840582_39680d1cd3_zYou know who you are.  You moved mountains in your schedule to finally get to the gym.  You’ve got your sneaks laced up.  Water bottle in tow.  You’re workin’ your workout swag.  Tunes ready to rock on your iPod.  You march up to the indoor track like you’re about to take on the world.

And then you just lolligag.  You poke along, checking your Facebook, tweeting your selfie, changing Pandora stations.  Next thing you know, an hour’s gone by.  All done!  And you go grab a donut, because you earned it.

The next morning, you’ve got high hopes of what that scale will say.  And you’re horrified to see that you gained another 2 pounds.  Disappointment has you calling to cancel your gym membership once again.

Now, hear me out.  Yes, I’m making light of very real situation, but I hope it’s enough to create the change many people need.  Take a second to re-read all of this.  Talk about a daily emotional roller coaster that ends in shame and defeat!

May I offer some advice?  Let’s start from the top.

  • We often get so caught up in the “stuff” of working out, that we forget to think about the actual workout.  Before you plan your outfit, plan how you’ll spend that 30 minutes or an hour at the gym.
  • Throw out all the distractions.  Don’t use your phone for an iPod.  Have your playlist ready before you get there.  Press “play” when you arrive and don’t touch it again until you’re done.
  • Take that plan you made and WORK IT!  I mean it!  Get that heart rate pumping.  Break a sweat.  Don’t spend your time telling the world you made this workout count, tell yourself!!  Find your inner Rocky and go all “Yo, Adrian” on the thing!
  • Do you really want this whole thing to be in vain?  It will be if you get that donut!  You earned a lower number on that scale.  Don’t rob yourself of it by eating badly.  Skip the soda, drink the water, eat well-balanced meals, and show your body the love it deserves.

Health can’t be confined to a one hour time slot at the gym.  Let it permeate your whole life!  Shame and defeat are no longer welcome here.  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

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14 Cents Off

securedownloadNot 14 cents short.  14 cents OFF.  I worked an entire day to get our personal finances in order, only to end up 14 cents off.  It might as well have been $1400 off.  Actually, that would’ve much easier to find!

And this doesn’t end with bookkeeping.  Right now, it feels like my entire life is 14 cents off.  I need to get childcare for some upcoming events: all my regulars are booked.  There are appointments to be scheduled: they won’t return my calls.  Laundry: I think our socks are having babies and leaving their mates.  Jerks.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, I’ve been hopelessly overwhelmed.  A few days ago, I sat on my couch frozen from the sheer weight of it all.  The well was dried up and I had nothing to offer all the loose ends.  Honestly, I was really down.  REALLY down.  And that’s just not me.

It was like God started waving the red flags in my heart.  I had to deal with this.  Now.  And by “deal”, I don’t mean continuing to hammer at that list of unfinished business.  I shut it down and let it all sit for about 3 days.  And although that meant more sock babies, it also meant finding center again.

I sat with my 6 year old to work a 500 piece puzzle.  We would work a little here, a little there.  Sometimes, we’d be there an hour, sometimes just 5 minutes.  Never did we weary of the process.  We wouldn’t have enjoyed it if it were quick and easy.  As we plugged away, I could see the Holy Spirit teaching me the greater lesson: when you trust there’s a bigger picture, you can tolerate the details.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (NIV, emphasis mine)

It does all happen for a reason.  And I don’t have to know the reason to trust its validity, because I trust in the One who is making it all work together for my good.  Even my promiscuous socks.


Marathon: The Journey of 26.2, Part 4

20140121-064107.jpgContinuing where I left off on my story.  Look here for the previous post.

My lowest point in all of my training, hands down, was the half marathon at the end of August.  It was unusually hot here in CO.  The race I chose was known for its tough terrain (would’ve been nice to know when I signed up for the thing!).  I had one goal in mind: beat my time from 5 years ago–2:53.  For all you non-runners, that ain’t fast!

The first several miles, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down.  I was giving it too much too soon.  After mile 8 or so, I just didn’t have much left.  I gave it all I had at the end just to hit my goal.  My official time was 2:52.  One minute faster.  It was so disappointing.  Surely, I was capable of more.

This is where my training partners, Korista and Amy, were so invaluable to me.  You see, this marathon was so much more than putting in miles and faster race times.  Although we weren’t very close at all before this began, those two women became strong arms for me to lean on.  I don’t know how I would’ve made it this past year without them in my life.  And that goes way beyond training for a marathon.  And it should be noted, that I never once physically ran with either of them.  Korista lives in Washington and Amy lives in Africa!

Setting out to do something as daunting as running 26.2 miles might’ve been my original idea, but little did I know the treasures in store for me.  It’s been a beautifully, unforgettable year.

And I had bigger hurdles to face.

Namely, the long run.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You just did a half marathon!  But when staring at the full distance, you’re gonna have to come face-to-face with miles well beyond 13.1.  Getting to mile 19 for the first time was by far the most insane training day I ever had.

The plan was 2 loops straight out my front door.  I took off feeling great.  Then, around mile 6, that 10% chance of precipitation became 120% in the blink of an eye.  The wind kicked up, rain started blow, and then I found myself getting pelted by hail.  HAIL.  I was thinking to myself, “I’m doing this.  No storm is going to stop me!”

And, cue the lightening.  I started counting, “1 Mississippi…” between strikes.  I wasn’t getting to 2 Mississippi!!!  The strikes were loud and close.

Change of plans.

Thank you, Lord, for having me a block away from my Rec Center!!!  I hustled in, called my husband (who was already out looking for me!), and headed up to the treadmills.  I had to run at least 10 more miles there, then run home.  By that time, the storm was long gone.

I was so incredibly proud of myself.  I don’t have that kind of tenacious, bulldog personality, so not quitting was a really big deal for me.  That night my husband said, “See, now you KNOW you can run that far, because you just did.”  I think that may be why I signed up for this in the first place.

You’re Accountable

1448178195_5780cfd315_oI’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. Some of my favorites have been from the Catalyst Podcast. Each one opens with a series of quotes by conference speakers. The last one always lands on me like a foghorn wake-up call. It’s the voice of Andy Stanley saying, “Leadership is a stewardship. It is temporary. And YOU’RE accountable!”
Boom. Like the Holy Spirit is looking me straight in the eyes, brows raised.
See, I have been waiting for this season for several years. I’ve longed to step out and pursue this calling of speaking and writing. But I’ve always sensed the reigns pulling me back. God saying, “Not yet.” Along with it has come an inexplicable peace, because “yet” implies what will be.
Several months ago, I realized the reigns were gone. The light turned green. To look at my life’s circumstances, the timing doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, it’s undeniably go-time. And I couldn’t be more excited!
However, this excitement came with an old foe: fear. Not so much of the unknown, but the known reactions that will come as result of stepping outside the box of expectation. You’d think I’d be used to this, but, honestly, it’s frustrating.
There are a lot of people in my life that would be so much more comfortable with my husband and I serving on staff at a church. It fits their mold of ministry for us. This is a valiant and amazing calling, to be sure. But it isn’t our calling. God has led us to the unconventional: we are chaplains to endurance athletes while coaching ministers with their health. Both ministries do not exist anywhere else in the form we are taking them. We’d like to say we’re pioneers in the ministry. Others would call us floundering idiots.
So this is just another opportunity to invite criticism. And I’ve already felt it. Some aren’t outright critics, but their silence speaks loud and clear. And that silence is so painful. That said, “Leadership is a stewardship. It is temporary. And YOU’RE accountable.”
I’m not alone here. Thus, the reason for this post. I believe their are men and women serving in positions trying with all their might to measure up to the expectations around them. All the while, they’re longing for it to be different. Maybe it’s not where they’re serving that’s the issue, but HOW they’re serving. They’re sitting reading this post and they’re heart is welling up inside knowing exactly what I’m talking about. God has given them the green light, but the expectations of man are keeping them confined to their little spot.
It’s scary. It’s complicated. It’s messy. It’s not even safe. But, “Leadership is a stewardship. It is temporary. And YOU’RE accountable.”
Here’s what I know: when I’ve exhausted myself pleasing people, I’m left depleted and empty. But when I’ve exhausted myself pleasing God, I’m left fulfilled and recharged. God has called us and gifted us for specific purposes. We MUST step out. We MUST follow His call. We are ABSOLUTELY accountable to it.

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