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The Short Version of How I Got Started Running

When I was very young I began running with my dad.  Everyday we would try to make it a little further than previously, till one day we finally hit a mile!  Sadly, after reaching that “milestone”  we quite.  As I grew up I loved playing tag, taking walks, roller skating, biking, swimming, and gym class in our homeschool group, so I have always been a sporty type of person.

Around the age of 13 or so, we went to a churches outdoor fall party.  I was already way overweight at that age and when they called for the 5k I wished I could go but decided not to.  Then they had a short sprint past the lake and back.  I was thinking “Sure, I’ll go for that.” 

But what I didn’t hear during the instructions was that you had to go AROUND the lake, not past it.  I huffed and puffed till I could go no further.  I was so embarrassed when two of the girls heard me breathing and looked back. I wished I could run and hide.

Fast forward about five years and my sister tried to encourage me to run with her. I went a few times but hated being out of breath. I was doing what typical beginners do and that is starting out too fast, which causes a lot of people to hate running.

Around the age of 20 I played around with short jogs, but only where no one would see me. At 21 my dad decided he was going to sign the family up for a 5k and I decided that if I was going to do it, it was going to be running the entire three miles.  No exceptions.

As I trained, using Couch 2 5k, I remember one day feeling totally discouraged and defeated because I couldn’t push myself as much as I wanted.  I went into the house and sat down at my desk to read a short paper on discouragement.  In that instant I knew I had to do it.  I headed back outside and chose to run three quarters of a mile without stopping.  I finished it and during that run I was hooked.  I don’t know what happened but from then on I knew I wanted to be a runner.

From that day forward God has run with me everytime upon my request and it has drawn me into an intimate relationship with Him. 

I can’t explain to you what is so thrilling about running, you would have to experience it yourself. I used to think runners were crazy and I feel like God has something for me in this sport. Looking back now I can see the many times He tried to get me started. I am so glad He did not give up on me, because running has changed my life in multiple different ways.

Through Be Still and Run I hope to encourage others to embrace this simple act of running with God, as part of their daily life!  May He implant this desire in your heart!

Until next time,
Happy Running Y’all!!

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Dreams Die and Dreams Live

Write the Vision and Make it Plain

A few years ago I went through a phase of whether I was to continue in my dream with my horse ministry or let go and move on.  It was going to be called Solomon’s Stables.  I had designed the barn, the land, the facilities, created  lesson plans, wrote up leasing papers, priced everything, created a logo, and on and on.  I knew what my goals were going to be, my focus was planned out, and ministry ideas were ready to be put in place.  I even gave lessons to two girls and we saw God work in some pretty cool ways.  But then I graduated high-school and for some reason, over time, just lost interest altogether.  God simply just took that desire out of my heart.

I began working with my family on their market garden business.  We went through a lot, gathering supplies, making a video and website, advertising, planning out ministry ideas, going to farmers markets, etc. etc.  But come to find out God is leading my parents to counseling instead.  The end of the family farm left me with a lot of time on my hands and no income.

But now what?  What in the world was I supposed to do? 

I wasn’t even sure what I enjoyed doing.  I had my whole 2020 year planned out, but with this sudden change in my family’s plans, now what?  I decided to do a week of prayer, with one or two meal fasting increments, seeking God for direction.  I asked two friends to join me in prayer as I sought the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

What God lead me to was affirmation and encouragement to just live my life.  Seek God and focus on him. 

Just run.

Just write.

Just pray. 

Just keep going. 

As I recall all the moments that I wondered whether I was on the right path or not, I remember once seeing a little sign in a store that said something like, “You’re where you’re supposed to be.”  But in my spirit I heard God say, “You are right where I want you to be.”  It was so uplifting!

A couple weeks ago I felt like the Lord was leading me to, “Write the vision, and make it plain… that he may run that readeth it.” (Habakkuk 2:2-4)  I decided to finish the vision board that I had started last year (2019).  It was so much easier this time around though because I now know where God is leading me.

I love organization but I wanted this board to be jumbled, colorful, and full of different ideas that all led to my main goal, which is to glorify God through my love of writing and my new found passion for running.  I began getting so excited but quickly realized God’s way of getting us to our goals is much different than we have in mind.  Much, shall I say, slower?  We see something and want to jump at it, but God normally says, “Slow your horses, let’s talk about this.”  He loves us and wants us to succeed.  He wants us to be wise about our decisions.  And…

He wants us to do it WITH Him.

So, what is your vision?  Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, Happy Running Ya’ll!

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Important!

Hey, ya’ll! First of all I wanted to real quick say

Thank you so much for supporting me! You have been a huge encouragement in the continuation of this blog! I have enjoyed create content for you guys, (and girls 🙂 ) since we started here!

Now secondly, I need your help. I will be changing the running girl icon in my logo to a simple sketch. Head on over to my Facebook page on Tuesday Afternoon if you wanna be a part of the poll! It will be open till the end of the week so feel free to think about it. Looking forward to getting your input!

Thanks so much! And Happy Runnin!

Allison

P. S. Here is the Facebook link: https://m.facebook.com/allisbsr/

Should I Stick to My Daily Schedule or Run Each Day by the Seat of My Pants?

In the beginning of 2021 I would go to God frustrated about not being able to get anything done that I needed to.  I felt a slave to each day and only got in what I considered most important – Devotions, Running, and Serving my Family.  There didn’t seem to be any time to do anything else.  But God asked me every time I complained to Him,

“Does it really matter?” 

For some time this frustrated me and I always came back with “Yes it matters because this is what you have called me to do.”  And… my frustration continued. 

At some point I remember it dawned on me, “No Lord, it doesn’t matter, because You are all the matters.  You are all I need.”  It was so relieving to let go of all my burdens.  Over time I did find more than enough time to do everything the Lord was calling me to do, but I feel like He allowed that time of frustration to help me realize that nothing on this earth matters more than Him.  It’s a relationship with Him and nothing more. 

So now that I have plenty of time to do what the Lord has called me to do, should I stick to my daily schedule or run each day by the seat of my pants?

First off I thought it would be fun to talk about what our picture perfect day looks like to each of us.  I want you to think about yours and then read mine.

04 am – Rise without an annoying alarm.  Immediately thank God for the day and tell Him good morning

04:15 – Brush teeth, make special drink, take pills, grab a bite to eat, make bed, get dressed

04:45 – Start Devotions

06:00 – Work

06:30 – Run

09:00 – Change clothes and Breakfast

09:45 – Chores

12 pm – Lunch

01:00  – Work

01:30 – Check in with God

03:00 – Snack and Workout

04:00 – Supper prep or Work

05:00 – Supper and Clean Up

06:30 – Study, Work,  and/or Family Time

08:00 – Read

08:30 – Bedtime Prep (Teeth, Foam Roll, Journal)

09:30 – Read Bible

10:00 – Sleep

Did you notice how there was things that stood out to you as crazy or unrealistic compared to your schedule?  That’s because your life is not mine, and my life is not yours.  Because we both have completely different lives and so do the people we interact with, our schedules are going to look completely different. 

Is this the schedule I actually go with everyday? 

Not exactly.  I very rarely actually get my butt out of bed before 5 and depending on the schedules of my family and those I interact with, I have to be flexible, sometimes very flexible.  However this is about what a day looks like if nothing happens out of the ordinary. 

And it also depends on what time of the year it as to when I do things because the sun rises and sets at different times and that changes when I do my outside activities.  Because of this “perfect schedule” never being perfectly executed I decided to change my daily schedule to something like this.

Morning

  1. Morning Routine (Make Bed, Coffee or Tea, Take Pills, Get Dressed)
  2. Devotions
  3. Run
  4. Work or House Chores

Afternoon

  1. Lunch
  2. Check in with God
  3. Work or House Chores

Evening

  1. Supper
  2. Family Time
  3. Read
  4. Bedtime Routine (Foam Roll and Read the Bible)

Additional Tasks to Do in Free Time

  1. Work
  2. Second Workout
  3. Family Time
  4. Study

Notice in the second schedule how there are no time lines and how additional tasks are to be done when there is time.  Life is a roller coaster and God brings things our way that if we follow Him will almost always cause us to be flexible.   For me personally, at the end of the day a perfect schedule was one I did what God led me to do. 

God has called me to be a runner and so that is a priority of mine every day.  Work is also something God has called me to but He has also blessed me with a job that can be moved around and done at any time of the day, so I take advantage of this and work with other peoples schedules as much as possible. However God is always first, then family, and then close friends.

I have a morning and evening routine that I try to stick to of which they each take about 1-2 hours and it doesn’t matter what time of day this is, whether 4, 5, or 7am – normally I’m in bed before 10 every night so that stays about the same.  But I might also have a side job away from the house, or family shopping, holiday parties, ministry opportunities, etc.  So then again it all depends on the day and the time of year.

One thing I have learned over the years, 2021 in particular, is to have a schedule but be okay with things changing.  I remind myself of what is most important and I surrender my desires to the Lord.  This has freed me so much and allowed me to make a choice in each moment of what will matter in eternity – this task that I was hoping would please God, or talking with Him and creating a deeper relationship? 

I challenge each of my readers to take the phrase, “Does it really matter?” and put it on note card where you will see it quite frequently throughout the day.  Just let the phrase run through your mind and allow God to use it as He wishes.

I love ya’ll and pray you will begin to discover how much God wants a relationship with you over what you can do FOR Him.  Until next time, Happy Running Ya’ll!!

My Story of Transformation was Anything But Perfect

Here we are going through a short serious on Perfectionism and I haven’t shared with you my story of transformation.  Like what?  I used to have a perfectionist mindset so what no greater time to share it with you than now.  I’ll try to keep it short as testimonials can get pretty long sometimes.

Many years ago in my early teens, I remember feeling sad and opening up my bible to a random spot as I asked God to show me something encouraging.  I craved something different yet I didn’t know what it was I was missing.  The following day was amazingly different!  It was so easy, so fun, so light… and yet it actually wasn’t years later till I realized why – on that sad day I remember thinking, “God, can you give me one day and show me what a relationship with you could be like?”  Wow!

So years later I had slowly grown in my Christian walk but because I had no godly peers I didn’t know what to do and actually considered myself a good Christian, better than most I knew.  I remember having this urge deep inside me to be different, but what ended up happening was that my teenage self rebelled in my heart and wanted to be different than my family.  I also remember having a desire for God, but I was afraid of submitting to Him fully. I was sincerely afraid of what He would ask of me.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that I had so many lies and fears about God that I missed the mark of truth.

However, one particular year my family attended a home-school conference of which I wrote in my journal at the time about how much my relationship with Christ had grown.  There was a certain young woman at the conference that I believe God must have placed it on her heart to talk to me and she ended up giving me her number before we left.  Much to my surprise, she become my mentor over the following years of which God used her to completely turn my life around.  Never had I met someone who showed interest in me as a person and actually cared for me as an individual.  Having a godly woman I could look up to was truly strange.  For the first few years I had in my mind the image of a “perfect Christian” and I tried to shoot for that.  Over time I realized there is no such thing as a perfect Christian and God began giving me a desire to become more like Christ and the person He created me to be rather than the impossible goal of perfectionism I was aiming for.

The last few years it has not been easy nor a picture perfect testimony as God has taken lies and fears out of my heart, helped me overcome old habits and create new ones, showed me who I am in Christ and who He truly is, and what God has specifically created for me as His child to do on this earth to advance His Kingdom.  I have never felt so free and at peace in my life!  The intimacy in my relationship with God seems to get closer and closer every day as we converse.  I have learned what it’s like to surrender my life to Him and oh, what a joyous part of my life that has been.  I have missed the mark several times, but God has always been gracious to help me try again. 

It was because of this friend that I wrote Back to the Basics… I want to be that kind of mentor to other ladies.  I want each of the young women out there to know that someone deeply cares for them, for who they are, not who they should be, and ultimately draw them closer to their Creator who loves them even more than I ever could.  I want to help lead them to a freedom that is worth more than anything they could ever chase after.  It is now my lifelong desire to see young women around the world experience what I have obtained.  I have tasted the life of a non-believer, the life of a lukewarm Christian, and the life of a surrendered child of God, the latter being better than anything this life could offer.

In the Back to the Basics Program we focus on running WITH God.  Then once the athletes have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, they begin having a hunger and strong desire to strengthen their relationship with Christ.  This is why we created Reconciled Coaching, which builds off of B2B and goes in depth of removing lies, living in truth, discovering our purpose and living a life worth living. 

However, as much as we believe God will and can use this program and coaching to impact young woman’s lives, it is not the only way you can strengthen your relationship with God.  God is creative and doesn’t use the same cookie cutter for every situation or every human being, so whether you use us or not I pray God fill you with Himself and help you find someone who will invest into you.  May He give you a burning desire to know Him better!  I Love Ya’ll!

Until next time, Happy Running!!

This is a single post in our series on Perfectionism. To read the others click on the links below. We will add the titles as they are created.

Post One: How Perfection Slowly Destroys Your Life and Those around You

Post Two: Was 2021 the Perfect Year?

Post Three: How to Run for Excellence rather Than Perfection

Post Four: My Story of Transformation was Anything but Perfect

Post Five: Should I Stick to My Daily Schedule or Run Each Day by the Seat of My Pants? …Coming Jan 17th…

How to Run for Excellence Rather than Perfection

In a previous post I shared with you some things I have noticed perfectionism can do to harm your life.  Today I want to share with you how it could harm your running career.

#1 It will make you dread your workouts

Most runners’ hardest part of working out is actually getting out the door.  So with that in mind, it would be easy to note that if we dread it, we aren’t going to do it.  By thinking each workout has to be perfect our expectations will be too high in a way that will be almost impossible to complete.  You’ll be stuck thinking of how far you have left to go rather than being grateful with how far you’ve come.  With no motivation you may quit running altogether.

Just this morning I realized that I have been dreading my workouts to the point of quitting half-way through them or making excuses so as to avoid them altogether.  Thankfully, I have forced myself to complete my long runs needed for half-marathon training though.  Yet as I sit here editing this post I wrote a week ago I am convicted by this. 

My heart-rate has dramatically caused my originally easy pace to become moderate to the extent that I have to run a 13-14 minute pace in order to keep it easy.  Yikes!  As a runner who wants to be faster, that frustrates me.  Yes, my nutrition has played a huge roll in this, as well as the holiday stress, but in my mind a perfect workout was to decrease my pace not increase it, so that began frustrating me as well adding to an already elevated heart rate.  This morning I ended up quitting at mile 2 because I made myself so miserable with my perfectionist standards… and it wasn’t the first time.

#2 It will decrease your performance

As explained above, since a perfectionist is inclined to be stuck to the negative, you must remember that whatever your mind is focused on is magnified in your life.  You will end up pushing your body and mind in very unhealthy ways which will decrease your effectiveness and recovery.  You may also end up pushing harder than you should on easy days which will greatly decrease your effort on hard days when you should be pushing.  That was one of the last excuses I came up with this morning.  Since I could not easily keep my original easy pace of 11-12, I quit because I figured I could save my energy and use it tomorrow, when in reality I should have been okay with the slower pace and finished the miles I had set out to do.

#3 It will increase your risk of injuries

Stress tenses your muscles making them more susceptible to tearing, which in turn will cause injuries if not recovered properly.  Too much strain on muscles will cause them to inflame, leading you down a path that needs longer recovery as well.  In your mind a runner probably should push through pain right?  Wrong.  Discomfort is good, it means we are stretching our bodies to new horizons, then as we rest we grow stronger.  A perfectionist can easily run through pain because in their mind, they have to stick to their training plan no matter how they feel.  The schedule has to go perfectly, but in reality, pain leads to badly torn, inflamed, or strained muscles, causing you to lose training time which in turn, during recovery, you begin to lose fitness.

#4 It will drain your energy levels

Stress creates cortisol.  Cortisol is like a huge caffeine rush with a horrible crash.  Imagine running during that afternoon caffeine crash when you haven’t had your second cup yet.

So how do you know if you’re a perfectionist?

Are you workouts ever good enough?  Are you seeing progress in your fitness?  Does your training schedule have to be just so?  Are you inflexible?  Do you get injured a lot?  Do you feel stressed when you work-out?  If you answered yes to any of these it’s possible that you have too much perfectionistic thinking.

How do you get rid of a perfectionist mindset?

Start by giving God thanks after every workout for anything you can think of in regards to your training.  Learn to take each of your thoughts to God.  Tell Him how you want your work-out to go, but then listen to your body and choose to drop the expectations if need be.  Consider asking Him to run through you.

How do you run with excellence and what is it?

This, just like anything else in your life, will be different for each person.  God looks at the heart.  If you are doing it to bring Him glory then that is all that matters.  If you are doing it to make YOU look good, then I would suggest humbling yourself before He does.  Your heart needs to be in fellowship with God and if that means pushing yourself harder, then do it, but if that means slowing down, then slow down.  In order to become a better runner you need to put in the work, but your body is not a machine and will not work perfectly a day in your life.  Excellence on the other hand is being the best version of yourself you can be, allowing God to form you into the person He created you to be, doing your best and leaving the results up to God.

Closing Note

I do want to say in closing that we do need to have expectations, but we need to learn that it is okay to not have those expectations fulfilled.  You should plan out the perfect schedule, but be flexible in completing it.  God’s number one goal is to transform us into the image of His Son.  Jesus fulfilled prophecy after prophecy to the T, but that was because He was surrendered to His Father.  God is not opposed to giving you your desires of a day gone well.  So surrender to God, ask Him to change your perspective, and lead you in the paths He wants you to take.  And remember…

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

So as you work on those New Years Resolutions you have come up with or even been holding off, give youself a break and live a realistic life. You can do hard things, but it is only through the strength God gives. It takes time to change a habit, so be consistent and commit to your goals this year. Work on allowing God to transform you into the person you are meant to be and let go of the perfectionism that you have been holding onto for so long. Only Jesus was perfect, and only God can form you into the image of His Son.

I Love Ya’ll and can’t wait to share my exciting news with you soon! May you have a wonderful week. Until next time, Happy Running!

This is a single post in our series on Perfectionism. To read the others click on the links below. We will add the titles as they are created.

Post One: How Perfection Slowly Destroys Your Life and Those around You

Post Two: Was 2021 the Perfect Year?

Post Three: How to Run for Excellence Rather than Perfection

Post Four: Coming Soon…

Was 2021 the Perfect Year?

Welcome back ya’ll!  I am so excited to share yet another post on perfectionism.  When I wrote the first post on this topic I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to talk about this, but somehow the ideas just kept coming.  I have several drafts just waiting to be published!  Why did I all of a sudden get this burst of passion for such content?  It could be because of my experience with perfectionist or it could be that God has put it on my heart for one of you lovely people.  Whatever the reason, I am excited to continue this series as long as it takes me to get it all out there because I think we need to deal with this issue as Christians.

So how do you define what a perfect year is?  Would you say this year for you was perfect?  For me, since my definition of perfect isn’t really reality, and I’m assuming yours isn’t either, perfect means I am content and satisfied with the results of a particular outcome.  2020 was not my idea of a perfect year, but I did learn quite a bit and started walking in the direction I felt God has created for me.  2021 on the other hand, could be very well identified as a perfect year. 

What made me content and satisfied with this year?  Pretty much everything actually.  There is not much I would change if I could go back.  As I’ve been thinking about next year, 2022, it has forced me to think of 2021’s resolutions and goals.  For the first time in years I can honestly say that even though some of the results were not what I was hoping, such as lose 50lbs. and run a half marathon, many of the others were beyond my expectations!  Last week I shared a little bit about how you can let go of perfectionism and one of the keys for me was surrender. 


“The key to accomplishing our New Years Resolutions is letting go of perfectionism and the key to letting go of perfectionism is surrender.”


God loves to work in the impossible and when we come to the realization that we in our own selves cannot accomplish our desires, surrendering them to God, I’ve noticed that is when, as we obey and follow Him, He can work in ways that can blow our minds.  Even the goals we didn’t accomplish can be turned around.  Like instead of my losing 50lbs, I gained muscle and strength, lost about 2 inches and 20lbs and I feel much better.  Instead of me running a half-marathon, I ran a full and had a blast conquering something I thought was completely impossible for me.

So what changed in order for me to accomplish most of my goals in 2021 and not years prior?  Actually I believe it was using perfectionism to my advantage.  I began dreaming about my perfect day, my perfect morning and evening routines, my perfect year, job, future visions I was setting out to accomplish, etc.  Then I took each day and tried to make it a perfect day.  I knew this was impossible so I had to be flexible and just go onto the next task if it flopped.  I never had a perfect streak and I still don’t but that is where I need to remind myself that perfection does not exist.  I have started multiple new habits that are not completely ingrained but I am consistent with them and that is what is important.

Going into the New Year I want to find two more goals to make eight total.  So far I have:

  1. Start my first group in the B2B program in April,
  2. Eat to Fuel my body,
  3. Run a half marathon in March,
  4. Run a full marathon in October,
  5. Read through the entire bible, and
  6. Publish one blog post a week for you amazing people.

Though I hate putting time slots with goals since life can get so hectic, I have found that remaining surrendered to God and being flexible while keeping my “Perfect Year” in mind, may be my top success tip for accomplishing our dreams.  As we surrender to God and learn to delight ourselves in Him, He will change our heart and give us His dreams in a way we’ll be confident He’ll enable us to accomplish them!  So get out there and start dreaming again!! (And I created a fun quiz for you too, which you can access right here!)

I love ya’ll and pray you have a blessed New Years Eve and Day!  It’s time to dream again, so don’t be afraid to sit down with God this weekend and write down what it is your heart truly desires.  Then surrender it to Him and prepare for the greatest rollercoaster ride ever!

Until Next Time, Happy Running Ya’ll!


This is a single post in our series on Perfectionism. To read the others click on the links below. We will add the titles as they are created.

Post One: How Perfection Slowly Destroys Your Life and Those around You

Post Two: Was 2021 the Perfect Year?

Post Three: How to Run for Excellence rather Than Perfection

Post Four: My Story of Transformation was Anything But Perfect

Post Five: Should I Stick to My Daily Schedule or Run Each Day by the Seat of My Pants? …Coming Jan 17th…

How Perfection Slowly Destroys Your Life and Those around You

With Christmas just around the corner I’ve noticed that we can ruin the holidays by focusing on all the wrong things.  One of the biggest distractions is Perfectionism.  People get so caught up in the petty details of life that they don’t even realize how perfection is slowly destroying their life and those around them.   Let’s look at a few things I’ve noticed in how perfection can cause more harm than good.

#1 It Ruins Relationships

By placing unrealistic expectations on people, it will cause them to be on edge around you because they know you won’t be happy with anything they do.  You’ll see the picture perfect job in your head and because no one else can see it, they won’t do it how you would like it done.  This normally leads to people having to walk on egg shells when you are around because they know you will be pointing out something that needs to be differently.  They will feel like they can’t do anything right for you.  The stress and anxiety that perfection causes you will make it difficult to deal with others, causing you to think it is their fault that things aren’t done right when in reality you have impossible standards.

#2 It Causes Stress and Anxiety

Stress normally comes from discontentment, which feeds off of ungratefulness.  You try to take on the world by yourself, carrying heavy burdens that Jesus did not mean for you to bear.  By thinking everything has to be perfect causes you to either not approach a task at all or become anxious with all of the impossible details that come up in your mind.  Time management will become seemingly impossible as tasks build up on top of each other because you are so busy trying to perfect one job  that really doesn’t need that much effort – like folding laundry perfectly every time, with no creases.  And because you will be so focused on your seemingly growing list, you won’t be able to sleep at night since you’ll be running off of cortisol, which causes your body to want to fight or flight, not sleep.

#3 It Causes Discontentment

By having a perfectionists mind, nothing will ever be good enough.  Your eyes will constantly be wondering from object to object as you make a list of how it should be different.   You’ll always want more and better, and peace will be ever absent from your mind.  Feeling never satisfied with how things are done, you’ll stay discontent, draining all joy from your life.

#4 It Takes the Enjoyment out of Life

Discontentment makes you ungrateful.  When your life lacks gratitude it slowly starts to eat away at your joy because nothing is ever done and your eyes will begin to gravitate toward everything you don’t have.  You won’t be able to enjoy life because there will be nothing to enjoy – everything you want is not in your procession.  You’ll become greedy in always needing the latest gadget, fad, or style, never giving anything away, hoarding it all for yourself because one day you might need it. 

#5 It Doesn’t Exist

As we all well know, whether conscientiously or not, perfection does not exist.  Nothing will ever be perfect on this earth as long as sin is a part of it.  Jesus is the only man to live on earth who was perfect.  But the earth and everyone on it was still not perfect even though He was here.  Perfectionism is impossible and when you strive for something that does not exist it leaves you feeling hopeless and empty.

On the other hand diligence and excellence is the best route to take because these are possible.  Do everything to the best of your abilities but don’t get caught up in petty details that do not matter.  Make thanking God a daily practice and you’ll see perfectionism isn’t so fun anymore.

Next time, I would like to talk about perfectionism as an athlete and how it can destroy your training, so stay tuned for that.

Love ya’ll and hope you have a great Christmas!

Until Next Time, Happy Running!

This is a single post in our series on Perfectionism. To read the others click on the links below. We will add the titles as they are created.

Post One: How Perfection Slowly Destroys Your Life and Those around You

Post Two: Was 2021 the Perfect Year?

Post Three: How to Run for Excellence rather Than Perfection

Post Four: My Story of Transformation was Anything But Perfect

Post Five: Should I Stick to My Daily Schedule or Run Each Day by the Seat of My Pants? …Coming Jan. 17th…

10 Ways to Love Running both Physically and Spiritually

Last week I gave you ten ways you can hate running both physically and spiritually.  I kept it short and simple because we were not created to dwell on the negative – whatever we focus on that is what we end up doing.  So today I wanted to share 10 ways I have found that help me love running and go a little more in depth for each.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it is some of my top tactics that I use personally.

Want to Love Running?

  1. Run at your own pace.  Don’t compare your workouts to others. Their body and circumstances are never the same as yours so it’s not comparable anyway.
  2. Fuel your workouts properly so you have energy to push when it’s time.  Learn what works for your body and stick to it.  And never try anything new at a race or the days leading up to it unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences.
  3. Schedule your runs as if they are meetings.  This will keep your momentum going and always make sure you have time to get out there.
  4. Have something to look forward to in training, find what you like and use it (i.e. sign up for races or group runs to stay motivated). 
  5. Know why you run.  Thank God that you can run.  Keeping your perspective right and your mind from going in a down-spiral will do wonders for you during tough times.
  6. Always warm up and cool down so you can avoid injuries and recover properly.  Again, find what works for you and stick to it because there are so many different ways to do it.
  7. Let your body heal before you get an injury.  Take care of niggles before they get worse. Focus on cross-training, stretching, strength training fueling, etc. and get your body back on track.  It’s better to take a few days off rather than a few months in order to heal from a stress fracture or pulled muscle.
  8. Wear good shoes that work for your body.  This is again individualized depending on how you run, where you run, what type of running you do, and how often you run.  Find a shoe that works for you and stick to it.
  9. Listen to music, sermons, podcasts, audio bible, etc. for tough workouts.  Though at some point we need to create mental toughness, sometimes a speed workout is much more enjoyable with headphones in.
  10. Listen to your body!!  Go hard on days your body feels good, go slow on days your body feels tired, give your body the nutrition/hydration it needs, and rest when your body needs rest.

Want to Love the Christian Life?

  1. Die to yourself.  Surrender your life to Christ and be a vessel meet for the masters use.
    • Galatians 2:20
    • James 4:7
    • 2 Timothy 2:21
  2. Pray every chance you get by practicing the presence of God and acknowledging Him in everything.  Run with Him every second of the day.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:17
    • Proverbs 3:6
    • Micah 6:8
  3. Make your bible your own and read it daily and asking Him to teach or show you something
    • Psalm 119:105
    • Luke 24:45
    • James 1:5
  4. Make your life your own.  Don’t compare yourself to others. God made you unique and different from anyone else in the world.  There was and will be no one exactly like you in all of history.
    • Proverbs 27:4
    • Jeremiah 1:5
  5. Obey God no matter what others say
    • Galatians 1:10
    • Acts 5:29
  6. Thank God for everything.  If you struggle with sin rather than thanking Him for the sin, thank Him for an opportunity to draw closer to Him.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  7. Give God glory and don’t seek the glory for yourself.
    • Matthew 5:16
    • Jeremiah 9:23-24
  8. Discipleship is the way to go.  Have godly mentors over you that you can ask for prayer, advice, and encouragement and have others you mentor as well.
    • Proverbs 27:17
    • Matthew 28:19-20
  9. Meditate on truth as much as possible so as not to be swayed by the world.
    • Romans 12:2
  10. Pray for others, bless them, and love them.  You are not their judge, the law is.  Vengeance is of the Lord, let Him take care of it.
    • 1 Timothy 2:1-2
    • Romans 12:19

Workout Time!

If possible I would recommend you sit down and make a list for yourself.  Write down what helps you love running and what makes you hate it.  Determine to choose the right way over the wrong and enjoy what God has called you to do… Run with Him!!!

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season and I’ll see you again soon,

Happy Running Ya’ll!

10 Ways How to Hate Running

I hope you get some good laughs after reading these two lists.   I know I always love reading things like this, because it is so untrue.  As a disclaimer, (and because I love you all too much to let you hate running), do not do any of these, it will make you never lace up your shoes again nor have an awesome relationship with Jesus!

Want to Hate Running? Here are 10 things that will ruin your love for running:

  1. Eat a large meal full of carbohydrates, fats, and sugary foods within 20 minutes of a long run.
  2. Never plan your workouts, always head out the door 30 minutes before a meeting.
  3. Never warm up your muscles before a run, it takes too much energy that you could easily be saving up for extra miles.
  4. Always go out for a three mile run no matter how you feel.
  5. Never cool down, you want your body to get used to repairing itself without your help.
  6. Don’t worry about niggles, they will heal on their own.
  7. Always go straight into the fastest pace you possible can within the first mile of every easy run, that way you will be forced to keep a slow pace later on.
  8. Over pack for long runs, you never know what you may need.  And don’t forget the chocolate brownies!
  9. Never go to the bathroom before heading out, it takes all the fun out of looking for port-a-potties.
  10. Don’t wear good shoes, they cost too much and are better left for collectors.  Save the money for races and buy some cheap sneakers.

Want to Hate the Christian Life? Here are 10 things that will ruin your love for God:

  1. Never read your bible, it takes up too much time.
  2. Never talk to God, that’s just weird and no one wants to hear what you’re praying about.
  3. Always take the credit for everything good in your life; it will lift your spirits.
  4. Spend many hours a day wasting time and sitting around, God commands us to rest right?
  5. Never surrender to Christ, it makes you look weak.
  6. Never ever ask God for help.  If we always ask God for help, how are you going to learn to become victorious?
  7. Always meditate on worldly mantras so you can become a better person.
  8. Hang around unbelievers as much as possible so you can be a witness to them.
  9. Over analyze everything and become a judge in every argument
  10. Never give thanks to God or people.  It is awkward for them when they don’t know what to say and God already knows you are grateful anyway.
What is the worst piece of advice someone has given you as a Christian or as a runner?  Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

The next post will be on How to Love Running so stay tuned.

Happy Running Ya’ll!  See ya next time!

I Can’t Believe I Forgot This Life Changer!

It’s Thanksgiving week and I am so excited to talk about today’s topic!  Last week I shared seven tips I have used to beat bouts of depression and as I complained to a friend later on about a problem I was having she reminded me to give thanks… 

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

For some reason this command from scripture had completely escaped my mind for a time.  She reminded me to thank God for the situation and it hit me that this was actually one of the greatest tactics I have used to fight all negative feelings, including depression.  I had gotten so caught up in the busyness of life that I forgot about the most important discipline of being a Christian, one thing that gives us life on earth!  Of course the greatest commands are to love God and others, but I feel this one command can be the difference between enjoying life and just making it through life.  No wonder my attitude has been one of irritation lately!

So how do we practice giving thanks in a way that makes us fulfilled and content, while also combating negative thoughts? 

Well, it really depends on your individual personality and life situations.  God looks at the heart and He made each one of us unique and different, so my way of giving thanks may not necessarily be the same as the way you will do it.  However I have found that using thanksgiving as a springboard during a difficult situation can draw us into a lovely conversation with our Lord at any time of the day.

Here is an example… 

Let’s say Susie walks out of the grocery store and within a few feet from the door both bags in her hand suddenly rip and all they contain is dropped on the pavement beside her.  The first thing most of us would probably do is get annoyed or frustrated, but that’s not the way Susie does it.  She immediately goes to God in prayer and thanks Him for the groceries as she bends over to pick them up.  You see, Susie’s outlook on life is not that the cans of beans are now starting to roll away, but rather that God has given her money for the groceries, a car to get her to the store, gas to put in the car, a beautiful sunny sky to drive under, and a family to feed when she gets home.  See the difference?

Giving thanks will not usually change your circumstances but it will most definitely change your attitude, and that mixed with prayer will fill you with peace and keep your mind focused on Christ, which is well worth the effort in having.

As you busy yourself with all the holiday preparation, consider this:

God turns everything in a Christian’s life for good. 

 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

Romans 8:28

When Susie’s bags ripped she had two options:

1. She could have thrown a mini fit in her mind and frustratingly started picking up her items, wondering how she was going to get her groceries to the car now that the bags where ripped and why the kids ate so much food that she had to be out at the store already anyway, or why people where walking right by her not even offering to help…  or

2. She could have began thanking God that she had groceries, she had children, she could be a witness to all those around her, she could be humble and ask for help…

Don’t try to rid your mind of negativity, rather fill it with thanksgiving to God so that there is no room for negative thoughts.  It’s easier to create a habit of thanksgiving than to break a habit of stinking thinking. And this goes for while you are running too! It works wonders!

I love ya’ll and pray you have a blessed holiday!

Until next time, Happy Running!!

Bouts of Depression

Bouts of Depression – For Ladies

Seven things that have helped me conquer feelings of depression revolving around my monthly cycle.

Last week I received a question concerning feelings of depression during a females cycle and I thought it might be of some value to others as well so I felt led to share my answer with the rest of you.  Hope it can be of some help to someone!

“… I can identify sometimes with feeling bouts of depression… or just feeling like giving up around that time of the month… what is the number one thing that helped you during those times?  I know Jesus is the only answer obviously, but sometimes in those moments it’s hard to make your will grasp the truth or believe it.  Any thoughts you have to share?”

Anonymous

Let me just start out by saying,

I totally understand. 

A lot of people will see a women going through sadness, grouchiness, or anger every month and assume they will get over it because it is just a phase.  We all shrug our shoulders and say that it’s normal.  This deeply saddens me because of the way it lets our bodies control our actions.  Ladies, we are more than conquerors in Christ, we do not have to let our fluctuating hormones control how we feel.  It is possible to take those feelings captive and set them at the feet of Jesus.  It is possible.

I’ll be honest in saying that every month 7-10 days before my period I used to be consumed with thoughts of depression and hopelessness.  It would always encourage me to think that within a few days the feelings would leave, but I hated being tossed to and fro in the wave of changing hormones.  Over time God has given me the grace in conquering these times and within the last few months I have actually been quite surprised with how the thoughts seem to be non-existent. 

“Wait, thoughts?” you say.  Yes!  I have learned that our feelings are a fire, either extinguished by our thoughts or fueled by them.  I truly believe that we have to CHOOSE to dwell on what is right and lovely because what we focus our attention on magnifies its reality – if you focus on pain (or a problem), the pain will seem much worse than it really is, whereas if we focus on scripture, the peace and joy that truth brings to Christians CAN consume our soul and lift our spirits!

Our feelings are a fire, either extinguished by our thoughts or fueled by them.

alli anne
Here are seven tips that may be of some help to you as you learn to deal with your changing hormones each month:
  1. Be confident in who you are in Christ and dwell on these truths consistently throughout the month so you will be better prepared to combat the feelings of depression when they do arise.
  2. Ask God to help you feel loved by Him.  This first starts with having a firm foundation of Who God is.  Find some scriptures that say how much God loves and cares about you and dwell on them throughout the month.  God created feelings and I truly believe that this is super important for us females.  God isn’t sitting up there in heaven shaking His head in disbelief that we have these feelings of depression.  He created them after all.  We just need to learn how to handle them.
  3. Practice taking your thoughts under control while you are joyful and happy by telling Jesus everything you are feeling. 
  4. Practice using your spiritual weapons when times are easy.  A soldier doesn’t go into battle without first practicing how to use the weapons in his arsenal.
  5. For a physical help, I have personally been taking a teaspoon of Maca powder every day seven days prior to my period.  I would research it for yourself in whether this may be an option for you.
  6. Don’t give the enemy room to work in your heart.  Be aware that he knows your weakness during certain times of the month and be prepared to combat him with the weapons of our warfare.  Resist him and draw nigh to God.
  7. And lastly, Pray!  Ask God to fill your soul with truth, peace, joy, and love.  Ask Him to help you focus on Him and others.  Ask Him to give you grace in dealing with times like these.  Ask, Ask, Ask.  God is more willing to give help than we are to ask Him for it.

Know that this is not an overnight cure.  But the more consistent you are with it, the faster it will change you.  And also remember that when someone works on a certain area in their life that it may get extra difficult or seem to get worse.  This is where looking into our 12:9 challenge may be extra helpful.  If you are interested in accessing this challenge get in contact with me and I will let you know as soon as I have it finished.

Happy Running Ya’ll – I love you ladies and am praying for you!  See ya soon!

P.S. Check out my next post here to read about a tactic I completely forgot about in how I deal with not just feelings of depression, but all negative feelings! After some practice it will do wonders in how you feel!

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