Spiritual Foam Rolling

Lessons we can learn from the Foam Roller

How many times have you heard it?  Things like, “It’ll get better, just keep trying.”  Or “I’m so sorry that happened to you, you’ll just have to forgive them and move on.”  But let’s be honest,

Phrases like these are not helpful.  Period.

Runners use a foam roller to get their circulation going and aid in the healing process of repairing torn muscles from a workout.  If you’ve ever heard the benefits or watched a video on how this works you might think it is wonderful and must feel great!  And you are correct, to a point.  But let me break it to you,

Foam Rolling is super painful while you are doing it.

And to surprise you even more… Those painful spots you come across are the ones you need to work on!  If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t need to be done.  It’s as simple as that.

We can use this same test in our personal lives as well.  I want you to think of some situations in your past.  Does the situation bring pain?  Anger?  Sadness?  Then I hate to say it friends, but you need to begin doing some spiritual foam rolling.  I would suggest going to God about the situation, telling Him everything, and then asking Him to heal the pain. 

Foam rolling is not a one-time thing.  After a really hard workout I may use the roller two or three times a day until the pain subsides.  I suggest you do the same thing. 

As maintenance, it is best done at least once a week to keep your body free of knots.  When you find one, go to God and clear it up.  Take the foam roller to it as many days as you need to. 

Until next time,

Happy Foam Rolling Ya’ll!

My 18inch Journey

Day 44

I can’t believe how many deep-seated lies and negativity I have had toward fitness and health.  I’ve been trying for years to lose weight and now I understand why I’ve had such a difficult time in reaching my desired results.

One of the things God has been showing me is that He loves to hear my heart’s desire and it delights Him to answer my prayers, but… if doing so interrupts and puts a wall between our relationship He takes us through detours in reaching our desired destination in order to work as a team to get both of our goals accomplished.

“A mans heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” 

Proverbs 16:9

I’m going to be honest, the last 44 days has not been easy.  It is the most difficult thing to listen to my body on what it wants to eat, when it wants food, and when it is full or satisfied. 

I have in the back of my mind, less calories + more exercise = my desired goal.  But God has challenged me many times by asking, “Is this what you really want?”  Of course I want to lose weight, who doesn’t?!  But He began taking me deeper into my heart and then opening my eyes to see what I really want…

A healthy relationship with food

A healthy relationship with my body

A healthy relationship with fitness

A healthy relationship with God

I could lose weight till I am at my dream goal of 150 but in the end I would still not have what I truly desired.  I would still struggle with what to eat and when to exercise because I wouldn’t want to gain any weight back.  I would still struggle with how my body looked because man is never satisfied with where they are at.  And I would still struggle with my relationship with God because maintaining my weight would just replace the idol of losing weight.

When God first led me to this 18inch Journey, in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping that I would quickly lose weight.  As that did not become a reality and I heard of many others who were getting the results they were after, it discouraged me very much.  I knew that was not why I started this journey, I started because I wanted to change my heart, yet it grieved me because I was not seeing what I craved.

No matter how many other benefits I see from walking this road with God, I still deeply desire to lose weight.  I have grown closer to Him in a deeper way because I must trust Him in knowing He knows what is best.  Tis true I have gained so many other health benefits as well and I feel freer in my spirit, yet letting go of my flesh is hard. But, I am determined and convinced that God’s way is best and I will continue following His path.

I pray that as I share this journey with you that it would be of some encouragement to someone else out there!

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!!

Is God’s Strength an Illusion or Reality?

You read about His miracles in the Bible, you hear about answered prayers from different people, you see God working in others’ lives, yet when it comes to your own life, why does it seem like such a fantasy?  You may wonder, “Is God’s strength an illusion or does it really exist?”

When you pray for something, do you expect God to answer it exactly the way you envisioned? 

One morning this week, as I struggled during my run, I asked God for strength.  I took a month off in September and have not been able to run a straight 5k since then.  I grumbled and complained as I heaved for breath during that last mile.  In the back of my mind I was thinking I don’t care how slow I’ll be running, but I am going to finish this thing.  I cried out to God, asking Him why He was not giving me strength, and His quiet answer hit me like a ton of bricks.  “I gave you the endurance.” 

In that moment I realized God does answer my prayers, probably every single one of them, it’s just not in the way I was looking for.   In this instance I realized that God’s strength is not what I think it is.  When Jesus was stumbling along the road to Golgotha, did God make the path easy and painless for Him?  No.  Rather Jesus had the patience to endure such a trial because He was focused on what rewards would be given Him.  It was His mindset.

“If we want to move forward, then we’ve got to face forward… and put [our] hope in the joy of this moment.”

-Cambria Joy

Here I was accusing God for not making my run comfortable and giving me some kind of supernatural strength so that I could essentially just run the fastest marathon on record.  But God is a loving God and cares more about WHO we are than WHAT we do.

I’ll close with these verses and encourage you all to meditate on them as you come upon Christmas.  Think about why Jesus came to earth in the first place and keep your eyes looking forward!  Happy Running Ya’ll!!

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

-Hebrews 12:1-3-

My 18inch Journey

Part Two

Happy Saturday Everyone!  I hope you all are having a great week wrapping up the last of your Christmas gifts!  I mean you are pretty much done aren’t you?  Because you have less than two weeks left and you surely don’t want to be rushing around at the last minute.  Just kidding!  But I only have one gift left to wrap and I am completely done, Praise God!  I love getting things done early.

It’s a beautiful morning with a light drizzle and cool breeze, making for a perfect writing atmosphere so since today is going to be pretty busy, I decided to post an update real quick before the sun comes up.   

Yesterday, December 4th, was the mark of one week since I began “My 18inch Journey” and I can already see improvement in my life!  For today’s post I decided to include two excerpts from my journal so you can see some of what goes on behind the scenes.  If you happened to miss Part One, go back and read that here.

December  5, 2020

“The same way, but only so much more, that I long for a relationship with certain people, is the same reason He, God, redeemed me… He wants a relationship with me.  It’s not to make Him look good, no; He can do that without me.  It’s not to show others His works; He can do that without me too.  The only thing God cannot do without me is cultivate our relationship.  In order for a relationship to work, it takes the cooperation of two people.

“Why did God create me?  Why did God choose me personally?

“I used to ask God why He chose me when He has so many other people.  What makes me any different than them?  The answer:

                “He wants a relationship with me as an individual.  There is no other logical explanation.

“What about the works He has chosen me to do?  I really believe that those works are just results, rewards, and by-products of my relationship with Jesus!

“He wants ME!  End. Of. Story.”

December 6, 2020

“I am valuable.  I never thought about that.  I was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).  You don’t buy something if it has no value.  You especially don’t die for something unless it’s of value.”  Great value.  Like it would have to be of extreme value for me to die for something.  “I am redeemed by the precious blood of Christ…

“I’ve never actually read something in the bible and asked what it means to me personally.  I just see what it means in general. What if I looked at the Bible as God’s Word directly to me as an individual?  Not to the world, but to Me…

“Remember, it pleased God to redeem me.  God thinks I am valuable enough to give me His Son, so I am valuable and precious in God’s sight.”

I am the precious treasure of my Heavenly Father.  I am loved and valued forever.  My future is not dependent on what anyone else thinks, says, or does to me.  I am holy, loved, blessed, chosen, and accepted just for who I am!

Truth

“The secret sauce of [people who succeed] is their ability to be unafraid of performing properly.”

Cambria Joy

See ya’ll on Monday, Lord willing, as I have a new post coming out. “Is God’s Strength an Illusion or Reality?”

But until then, Happy Running Ya’ll!

Book Review

Life in the Single Lane

Accepting God’s Gift in This Season of Your Life

By Aprill M. Brunson

Non-fiction

Life in the Single Lane was a wonderful encouragement to me as a single woman desiring to one day be married.  I feel like Aprill hit home with how relatable and easily digested it was.  I was able to immediately connect with her as she shared her struggles and it didn’t require totally concentration to follow along in order to understand what she was saying.  And I must say it was quite humorous at times!  Overall I absolutely loved it and had a very hard time putting it down. 

Personally I have become pretty content with being single, but around my birthday this year I was battling thoughts of self-pity.  You know what I’m talking about, the “Poor me, I’ll never get married” kind.  It only took a few chapters of reading Life in the Single Lane, and it began to draw my heart back in-line with God’s will for this season of my life.  If I may add, being as the author is only twenty-three at the time of writing the book, it made me laugh every time she said she was an old maid, because that is a phrase we as single ladies can so easily buy into.

“Birthday’s are good for you.  Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.”

Reverend Larry Lorenzoni

One of the things I could really relate to was chapter thirteen, Single vs. Adult.  She explained how people, sometimes unknowingly, treat you like you are a child until you are married.  Having experienced this, it did encourage me to take her advice in making sure you act like an adult, but then leave the results up to God as to how others treat you. 

Chapter sixteen was about becoming the woman the man you want to marry is looking for.  I heard this many years ago, but the way Aprill explains it is quite convicting and yet inspiring at the same time.  I loved how she listed verses to explain who we should be, because, if you are like me, I’m sure you have verses you want your future husband to be like too! 

We should look for

“…Mr. Junior Right, because God is Mr. Right.” 

Pastor David Crispin

One of my biggest take away was the fact that singleness has a lot of flexibility, as compared to wives or mothers.  We are not tied down to caring for our family and therefore have way more freedom to serve others and help out where needed.   Aprill expounds more on this in a very encouraging way that really opened my eyes to so many opportunities to serve God that I miss every day.

I would definitely recommend this book to single women, regardless of age, who want to be married some day whether you are in a relationship or not.  In my opinion, comparing to all the “relationship” books I have read, this is definitely one of my top picks!  I pray that if God leads you to get a copy of Life in the Single Lane for yourself, that He would use it in your life that same as He did mine! 

 “You’ve heard it straight from the Old Maid’s Mouth!” –Aprill M. Brunson

Just as a side note, something that has been very encouraging to me, is that a lot of missionaries did not get married till they were in their 40’s, because God needed their undivided attention for what He had called them to do.  Not only that, but think of how much better of a wife and mother you could be with forty years of practice dealing with others!  If you are thinking, “Yes, but I want to get married now, I’m tired of waiting,” then I encourage you to grab a copy of Aprill’s book here, as it may be just what you need.

My 18inch Journey Has Begun!

Today is DAY TWO of “My 18inch Journey”! I am so excited to begin this new expedition with God! I will be posting updates on here, Lord willing, every Saturday, but if you would like to see day-by-day posts, head over to my Facebook page and follow me there.

But for now, let me give you a little background before I explain what “My 18inch Journey” really is. (- care to not, 😁 skip to the next “section” in this post to find out what this “18 inch Journey” is-)

Many years ago I gained weight little by little until I was 1lb away from 240. When I stood on the scale and saw that number I was horrified and realized something had to be done. Then began my trying-and-failing fitness journey that, up until recent days, has almost completely absorbed my thoughts and was ultimately part of every decision I made.

When I ate, what I ate, how much I ate, when I exercised, how much I exercised, what type of exercise, when I went to bed, when I rose in the morning, and on and on it went. I went through phases of hating food, hating exercise, and hating sugar, to loving food too much, to being overly passionate about exercise, and indulging in sugar.

Occasionally I found the happy medium and it was always such a sweet spot to be in! But it never lasted long.

God was gracious to help me in losing 60lbs over the course of multiple years which left me at 180 and I was happy with that.

2020’s whole Covid situation has allowed me to stop and enjoy my food and fitness, but this caused me to also gain 20lbs. I immediately went to God when I found out and knew I could not stand this fitness/health roller-coaster any longer. The last couple months I have been praying about what to do, asking God to keep my eyes focused on Him no matter what happens.

So… using different resources, which I will share with you overtime, God has been showing me what to do to find lasting peace in the physique world and I am so excited to put it to practice!

NOW WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS 18 INCH JOURNEY?

Everyone knows what head knowledge is right? When you learn something or know the truth about a situation this is called head knowledge. But who you are and how you act is what you think in your Heart, what you truly believe about yourself whether you are willing to admit it or not. It is about 18 inches from your head to your heart and this my friend is “My 18inch Journey.” I plan to change my belief system towards fitness and health, so I can change my actions, because the bible says as I think in my heart, NOT my head, so am I.




Sneak-Peek at Day One

My Running Journal Excerpt

December 4th, 2020

Praise God! I can’t believe I actually got in 4.7 miles. I was planning on doing four and a half but the way my right hamstring felt I wasn’t even sure about that. A lady gave me a thumbs up out her car window and said “Great Job!”, which was very encouraging! A little past my half way point my route home was closed due to a crew working on some tree trimming along the road, so I had to turn around and back track which made my run about .25 miles longer than I was planning. I’ve been praying about whether I am more of a fast runner, such as 5 and 10k distance or if maybe God made me a distance runner, such as half and full marathons, and as crazy as it may sound I’m actually considering or dreaming about ultra-marathons. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. But anyway God has been very good this morning. I still have quite a bit to do today but He has fit in a lot already and I thank Him for it.

Sneak-Peek at Day Two

My Running Journal Excerpt

December 5, 2020

Recovery Run – Can’t wait to increase my miles again! I feel really good today. My feet feel a little sore so I need to do some foam rolling and massaging. I never realized how negatively I think about myself concerning health and fitness. I kept putting myself down when I couldn’t complete the number of sit-ups I wanted, the length of planks, or the lunges properly. I wonder if my fitness started declining when I allowed it to take control of my life. My body is meant to serve me, not the other way around.




Coming up next week:

I am bringing to you my very first book review! I can’t wait and pray that you or someone you know can be blessed by it!

So until Monday, Happy Running Ya’ll!

Walking on Water

Do you have what it takes?

Have you ever stood by a body of water and imagined the scene of Matthew 14 when Jesus walks on the Sea of Galilee?  Have you ever thought of the gut Peter must have had to walk on water himself?  Who cares if he started sinking, what about the amazing faith he had to actually get out of the boat and try it?  Now imagine yourself doing that!

For my warm up one morning, I walked down the road to where it was badly flooded from all the rain we had.  I took some pictures and stood there for a few short moments before starting my workout.  Later as I cooled down, I walked the same route back down to the water’s edge, except I didn’t make it all the way when the timer went off signaling it was time to head home.  I turned around and headed home, but something just wouldn’t leave me alone about going back to the flood.  I hesitated for a few seconds before finally turning around and sprinting back to the water. 

I stood on the edge, looking down the road and a thought popped in my head.  It was as if God asked,  “Why don’t you walk across?”  I laughed out loud before replying, “Very funny.”  But then Matthew 14 played out before my eyes as if I was watching a movie clip.  I saw the waves crashing against the boat as it rocked back and forth.  I watched as Peter asked Jesus if he could walk on water.  I saw Peter get out of the boat and begin walking to Jesus.  This imaginary scene played out in my mind quite rapidly but it left me with a question.

Do I have what it takes?

Do I have the faith to trust God with my future?

Do I have the faith to trust that God’s Word will always stand true?

Do I have the faith to completely surrender my life to Christ?

Do I really have the faith to ask Jesus if I can get out of the boat?  Do I have the faith to then get out of the boat?  Then do I have faith to let go of the boat?  And then to actually let go?  And then walk to Jesus?

Forget about what waves or storms might approach in the future, do I have the faith, right now, to take the steps God has given me?

I challenge you to pray about this:

Do you have faith that God really is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?

Unkown Author

For two weeks I meditated on Hebrews 11:6 and the powerful concept of faith hidden in this one verse amazed me!  When I go to God, I MUST believe that He is who He says He is and WILL do what He says He will do!  Wow!  May God grant you the understanding of this powerful verse!

But until next time, Happy Running Ya’ll!

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!

Staying Hemmed and Never Getting Unraveled

The Importance of Prayer

Throughout my Christian years I have gone back and forth in my prayer life.  I’ve tried prayer lists on paper, lists on my phone, on an app, organized, no list at all.  I’ve tried praying for 10 minutes, 15, 20, an hour.  I get excited about prayer, then get bored.  I’ll be inspired one day, then totally neglect it the next.  Honestly, as you can tell, I have been all over the place and far from consistent. 

But the good news is that I have seen the results of faithfully and fervently praying!  I have seen the fruit and felt God’s presence when I persist!  It is amazing and so worth the effort!  I am encouraged, strengthened, have purpose and fulfillment, the list goes on!  I have a sign on my desk that a friend gave me a few years back that says, “A Day Hemmed In Prayer Is Less Likely To Unravel”.  I have proven in my own life that this is soo true! 

Just Doing It

I also like the sermon by Dr. David Gibbs Jr. on YouTube that talks about prayer.  I just watched it again recently and this phrase really stuck with me:  “Every failure in a Christian’s life is a prayer failure.”  How many times in scripture does it say we must ask for things?  James 4 tells us that we have not because we ask not, and when we do ask, we are selfish and prideful about it. 

“From whence come wars and fightings among you?  Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask notYe ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

James 4:1-3

Faith

I really believe with all my heart that you really do need to have faith that God will answer your prayers when you pray.  I do not however believe that whatever you ask God for will be granted you.  For me personally it is rather a heart issue of why I am asking and whether God has given me the faith to ask Him.  I trust and pray that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say and the faith to seek Him.

I love Hebrews 11:6, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” 

I challenge you to really ponder and pray about this verse.  There is so much to it than we think. 

Looking at the Heart

I have come to realize that EVERYTHING is a heart issue.  I don’t care what you say or even how you act.  I want to know what is truly in your heart.  Not even what you think is in your heart, because one can easily lie to themselves, but what is in your heart of hearts, your soul, your inner being.  This is what truly matters.

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

To Ponder

My Challenge for you this week is to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When was the last time you asked God for something?
  2. When was the last time you specifically asked God for something?
  3. When was the last time you specifically and fervently asked God for something?
  4. When was the last time you specifically, fervently, and persistently asked God for something?
  5. When was the last time you specifically, fervently, persistently, and faithfully asked God for something?

So, do you get unraveled during the day?  Let me know in the comments what helps you!

Also stay tuned, as I have some awesome free downloads coming up! 

Happy Running Ya’ll!

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