Posted in As A Person, Be Still, Life, Training the Mind, Uncategorized

Who Am I

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10

This week I am doing a collaboration with Emily over at Emily’s Journey on YouTube. She spends a lot of time making her videos, which have been a big encouragement to me! She loves Jesus and strives to glorify Him! Her boldness in sharing the truth will challenge you to ask yourself many questions about your true motive in every area of life. Go check out this weeks video at Emily’s Journey by clicking on the following link:

Video will be published at 3pm, Eastern Standard Time, January 31, 2020; Enjoy!! And don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment!

Who are you?  What is the first thing that comes to mind when I ask this?  Is it your occupation that labels you?  What happens if you lose your job, what are you then?  After watching Overcomer by the Kendrick Brothers I found myself asking that very question.  If my hands were to go limp, I could not be a writer anymore, it just wouldn’t be the same.  If my legs were to be paralyzed, I would not be a runner any longer.  If I were to never be able to go outside again, I could never consider myself a country girl. 

I have been praying for the past couple months that God would help me see Him as my All.  I knew my identity needed to come from Him.  If anything goes wrong in life, I want my faith and joy to remain stationary – set firmly on Jesus!  I want my peace, trust, faith and joy to be unshakeable and not dependent on outward circumstances.

Lies – Fears – Negativity… Is this what rules our minds?  When someone treats us wrongly and we are hurt, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  When things go not as planned and all life wrecks havoc, what are your thoughts?  I have seen this splayed out in every area of my life.  My most common running thoughts are, “I’ll never get faster” and “I’ll never get past this wall.”  For life I struggle with “I’m slow and get in people’s way,” “I don’t do anything right” and “I’m not good at anything but working.”

But this is not who I am! 

Through Christ –

  • I am blessed  (Ephesians 1:3)
  • I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am holy (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am accepted (Ephesians 1:6)
  • I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • I am sealed (Ephesians 1:13)
  • I am loved (Ephesians 2:4)
  • I am alive (Ephesians 2:5)
  • I am raised up (Ephesians 2:6)
  • I am ordained, I have a purpose (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am cared for (1 Peter 5:7)
  • I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)
  • I am capable (Philippians 4:13)
  • I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
  • I am free (John 8:32, 36)
  • I am hopeful (1 Timothy 1:1)
  • I am cherished (Ephesians 5:29)
  • I am satisfied (Psalm 17:15)
  • I am powerful (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I am clean (1 John 1:9)
  • I am a child of the living God! (John 1:12)
  • And so much more!

What joy we would have if we believed this!  Friends, I challenge you to stop and ask yourself who you are.  Then stop and ask God who He says you are.  Start with Ephesians 1 and 2.  Do not just go off of my list, let God show you himself.  You will not be disappointed!

Posted in Uncategorized

Bucket List

Photo taken by Keenan Smith

Have you ever said, “Oh, I have that on my bucket list,” or, “I’m going to try and do that before I die”?

Most everyone has things that they would love to be able to do on this earth before they have to leave it.  For me, I have two “major” ones, visit the Coral Reef in Australia and go out west where there is nothing but flatlands.  And maybe if there is time, I’ll visit some place with valleys, fields, rivers, and snow topped mountains. *Grin*  

I have talked about dreams, hopes, visions, goals and resolutions before, but God has been challenging me lately to look past what I can see and grasp for a higher calling, a higher purpose.   For me, I’m not sure what that is or what that looks like, but today I listened to a sermon called Chasing God.  He was talking about how our life on earth is the only chance we get to live by faith.  Once we die it will be all “seeing”.  In Hebrews it says it is impossible to please God without faith.

What has God called each of us to accomplish on this earth?  Each of us, as Christians, has a common purpose that He created us for – to glorify Him and cultivate a relationship with Him.  Actually, the more I meditate on John 15, the more I realize that maybe chasing after Jesus is all that really matters.  But what does God want to do with you as an individual?  He uses each of us for His purpose.  Each of us has a unique calling. 

Dreams and desires are not a bad thing themselves, for God can direct us through them if we surrender our lives to Him and ask Him to do so.  But the question is, have we done that?  Have we asked Him to change our desires and dreams to live the life he wants us to live?  The hardest part about this though is total surrender.  Have we totally, with no desire of our own, totally surrendered our lives to Him?  He may give back what we give Him and He may not, but what we can take comfort in is that if He does keep what He gives us, we can expect Him to give us something so much bigger and better than we could ever imagine.

So let’s try and look at our bucket lists from a new perspective.  Go to God in prayer and ask Him what He wants to do through us, in us and with us.  I mean, if we were to be totally honest with ourselves, how many of those things on that list are we actually going to accomplish?  So why not replace them with things we can actually do?  

Truthfully, I am still working on this, especially the surrender part.  I have not been able to actually go to God and honestly say, “What do you want to do in my life?  I’m willing to do whatever you ask.” because I am still clinging onto my own dream.  I pray that as this month comes to an end in a couple short weeks, that I will be able to honestly and with an open surrendered heart ask God what His will is for my life.  I pray many others will join me as well.

Posted in Charater Qualities, Holidays, Life, Uncategorized

Taking the Leap

Christmas is literally right around the corner!  Is everyone done shopping and all ready?  Does anyone have anticipation as the day gets closer?  Do you like giving the gifts or receiving them?  What do you hope you get?  What are you hoping the recipients of your presents reaction is?  Or do you have any hope at all?

The bible is full of encouraging, life giving verses, but do you have hope?  What is a promise of God you are hoping He fulfills one day?  Or do you have any?  Are we supposed to just hope in heavenly things or does God call us to hope in things on this earth too?  What is hope anyway and how do we have it?

All of these questions began filling my mind as I prayed about this week’s post.  A few years back, God shared with me a promise that I have a hard time hoping in, a difficult time believing in, and an extremely hard time trusting Him with.  I know if He said it, it must be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that humans in general have a hard time entrusting the unseen to our Father, especially when it comes to the future.

The real definition of hope is looking forward to something in the future with at least some bit of expectation in receiving whatever it is.  Today’s definition has changed a little in the sense that sometimes we may eat a bunch of sugar and carbs daily, hoping that it doesn’t make us gain weight.  For example, holiday weight gain. *Grin*   There are multiple promises in the bible, but do we hope in them?  Do we hope God fulfills them?  Are we looking forward to the day that He brings them to pass?

The promise God gave me was Psalm 37:4-5, Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him: and he shall bring it to pass.

As I wait for God to fulfill the biggest dream of my heart, that at this point I feel is completely impossible, God has challenged me to believe what He told me, to have faith He will fulfill it and recently, to hope in that promise.  Our loving Father up in heaven knows what He’s doing and can see the whole picture.  It baffles me, after all God has done for us, how we can one moment trust Him with everything we are, then turn around the next day and run from Him because we are afraid.

The Bible says God cannot lie and so therefore if He says something, it HAS to be true.  My question to you is this:

In light of everything you know, and don’t know, is there a chance that maybe you can lay the promise God has given you at His feet, and let Jesus take care of it?  Are you willing to take a leap of faith and trust Him to catch you, trust Him to take care of it?

I pray you are all able to Hope in Christ as this year comes to an end!  But in the mean time, Merry Christmas and May God bless you!

Posted in Holidays, Life, Training the Mind, Uncategorized

What is Your Focus?

Christmas is almost here and what joy do we have to show for it?  This year I have not been in the Christmas spirit and though I enjoyed shopping for gifts and listening to holiday music, something just seems to be missing.  Am I the only one that feels this way?

As I began thinking about this I wondered if maybe my focus was off.  What is Christmas about anyway?  I researched a little on what the worlds view was and I found out that the percentage of people who believe in the true reason of Christmas is slowly declining.

Do we spend too much of our holidays enjoying the pleasures of this world while Jesus slowly fades away?  Are we as Christians okay with sticking Christ in the closet?  I’m not saying we should go around and tell everyone how selfish they are for indulging in gift buying, participating in the billions of dollars spent worldwide on things that will only last for a few years, (or if you buy food, only a few weeks *smile*).  But where does our own heart lie?  What is our true motivation for everything we do around this time of year?  And most importantly, what does Christmas mean to you as an individual?

I have to admit I have been very overwhelmed by all the things I had to do before Christmas and I have not stopped one minute to enjoy it.  I looked at the unwrapped gifts underneath my tree and wondered what the point was in all this.  My motive in getting those presents was to show the receiver that I cared for them, that they mean something to me.  But did I enjoy it?

Two weeks ago I spent time with a very good friend and her family.  I loved every minute of it.  When the enemy started putting thoughts of worry and concern about the next day in my head, God gently prompted me to enjoy the present.  Maybe this is what I’m missing in the rest of the season as well.  Maybe I need to just enjoy the present.  Is this maybe what we all need?

Although we are all different, each of us still has to make a decision of what we focus on, what we keep our mind on, and what our motive is.

What is your focus this Christmas season?

As we finish up our gift shopping and holiday prep, let’s not forget to live with God and enjoy each moment with Him.  He truly is the reason for the season!

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
-Micah 6:8
Posted in Uncategorized

Peaceful Feet

Are your feet peaceful with one another?  Are your feet peaceful with your shoes?  Are they peaceful with the road?  Without our feet we could not run- obviously, right?  Most everyone has had to deal with some kind of foot pain and it’s kind of annoying- especially the persisting ones that seem to nag you all day.

The definition of peace would be living in a state of quietness, full of harmony, not being disturbed, but free from agitation.

As a runner I train myself to have peaceful feet.  I don’t want to scrape my feet across the ground- that would mean they are lazy.  I don’t want my toes to be squashed- that would give me less freedom and more foot pain.  I don’t want to hit my leg with the opposite foot during strides- because that just plain hurts.  And I don’t want to slam my feet on the ground since that causes more strain on the rest of my body.

One of the fruits of the spirit is peace and according to Ephesians 6, we should be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  1 Peter 3:11 states that we need to seek peace and ensue it.  Being shod is simply having shoes on and ensue means to pursue.  So we are told to seek peace and pursue it and to wear peace on our feet. 

For me, physically speaking, shoes are required for running. (Although I have done a couple barefoot training runs, in the grass.  I wanted to try a couple on the road, but it’s a little cold for that now.)  I make sure to get ones that keep my feet supported and comfortable, replacing them as needed.  Right now that means about one and a half pairs a year. 

Spiritually speaking, peace, as I wrote about in a different post, is an awesome quality to have.  It’s so, well… peaceful!  In order to run the race of life effectively, peace is required.  Think of a situation you are in right now.  Pick the first one that comes to mind and write it down.  Now under that begin writing what it would look like if you added peace to the equation.  Now, you could just use the word peace but that would defeat the purpose of this exercise.  But really think about it.

Let’s say someone is going through a tough time with a relationship.  Without peace, they probably have anxiety, maybe fear, doubt, most likely some bit of worry is in the mix, could be some bitterness or sadness. 

If you are still bearing with me- since I know this is a longer post- here is an exercise I have been using quite a bit lately and it has helped tremendously.  But you have to do the steps in order.  No skipping around. Take Philippians 4:6 and follow each step in the verse. 

  • #1: Write down what you are worrying about.  What is taking your peace away? Write down how you feel about the situation, etc. (End of Thinking Capacity *smile*)  Don’t give God any requests yet, right now you are just writing down your situation and the problems surrounding that. 
  • #2: Give God thanks for everything you wrote down and more.  Spend about five minutes thanking Him for whatever comes to your mind- even the so called “bad”.  An added bonus is to thank Him for who He is.  Thank Him for what He has done in the past and thank Him for the character qualities He presents toward you. 
  • #3:  Now pour out your heart to God telling him everything.  Don’t leave anything out. Everything! 
  • #4:  Last but not least, find a verse that speaks truth to the situation and every time you are tempted to dwell on any negativity concerning this area, quote the verse over and over again. 

Recently while running, both physically and spiritually, I personalized 2 Timothy 2:17, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind.”  So since God has not given me a spirit of fear, essentially I am choosing to live in fear.  But what comforts me is that I don’t have to live in fear and I’ve noticed fear is the motive behind most of my anxiety- fear of what others think, fear of getting hurt, fear of losing a loved one, fear of making the wrong decision, etc.

I pray you will try the exercise I have been using and that God would work mightily through that.

Happy Runnin Ya’ll!

Posted in Praise Report, Racing, Training the Mind, Uncategorized

“I Am Never Running Again”

Have you ever watched a hurdles race? To me that looks awful. Running straight forward is hard enough, but running and then jumping over fences throughout the race… no thank you. I sometimes just struggle picking my feet up high enough so that I don’t scrape my shoe across the pavement.

But do you know what happens when we determine to push through that wall, whatever it may look like to each of us? God gives us the strength and grace that we ask for because in our weakness, His strength is made perfect. Do you want God’s perfect strength over your life? Then you need to give Him your perfect weakness.

For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Psalm 18:29

During my 5k race last Saturday, a thought crossed my mind that I’ve only had a few times in my running experience; I am never running again! But as soon as the race was over I couldn’t wait till the next one. What happens when I have this mental breakdown? The answer is mental fatigue and a stressed mind. When I run, I hit this mental wall that I dread. I call it a mental breakdown. I’ve learned that the sooner I can get over that wall the better my run can be.

This particular 5k, I had about three weeks to train. I had never run a 5k race in under 30 minutes so this was my prayer. But it seemed every time I prayed this, 28 would pop in my head. I would laugh and think, “Yeah sure, under 28 minutes would be great, but since that’s not possible, under 30 minutes will do just fine.”

Before the race I gave the results to God. The gun was shot and we were off. At the one mile marker I was shocked by how fast I had gotten there, and I felt great. A few minutes later, “Smack!” I hit the mental breakdown wall. I determined to push forward and prayed for peace. Coming up to the next mile marker I was praying it said two miles and not one and a half. It said two and I felt very relieved. A few moments later I noticed my body was getting exhausted, I knew I had pushed it harder than ever before. I prayed, “Please Lord, just let it be under…” Again, 28 popped in my head. I said, “No, under…” And this time, 29 popped in my head. I said, “No. Under 30. Please let it be under 30 minutes.”

I turned the last corner and when I could see the finish line, I took off as fast as my tired legs would let me. My parents were smiling and everyone was cheering me on as I crossed the line. When I asked my parents the time, they said it was around 27:30. I thought, “No way, you’re kidding!” It was then that I realized God must have been the one saying under 28. It seemed like forever before they put the final times out. And sure enough it said 27:30. I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe God could, or would, or how, or… so many thoughts went through my mind. My HPR (Home Personal Record) was 29:48!

One thing I know… My Coach up in Heaven knows what He’s doing! If only I would listen and trust Him, I can’t imagine what the outcome of other things would be!