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 Holidays, Life, Training the Mind

The Wind of Adversity

…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…
– 1 Peter 5:5-8

Living in the country where there are miles of fields, the wind has nowhere to go but straight – and hard! A lot of times on a windy day I will try and plan it to where I run into the wind on the way out, that way when I’m sweating and tired on the way back the wind is blowing at my back, keeping me from cooling down too fast, but also helping to push me forward.  Sometimes I miss judge the wind direction, but other times I may purposefully choose to run against the wind for some extra “strength training”. 

When the wind is to your back pushing you along the road God has you on, it can be a very encouraging and helpful feeling.  But what happens when that wind changes direction and you feel like everything is against you.  Every hair on your head, every muscle in your body, every sinew, every tendon; they all feel like they are pulling you backwards, like you are suddenly carrying a hundred extra pounds on your back.  Do we still run forward or do we collapse on the ground in frustration and tears? 

Last month I got to test this theory out really well.  Once or twice a year, for the last four years, we have held a widows banquet in our home.  When I woke up the Friday morning before the banquet, I was so looking forward to holding it this year, but we had to cancel.  All the time and energy put into getting this day together felt wasted.  I had a sudden attack from my adversary, Satan.  The first arrow he shot I was not ready for and it hit with force.  I was overcome with emotions. I felt useless, like my life had no point, why was I even here anyway? And they just kept spiraling out of control.

Running forward may not always be easy, it may not always be enjoyable, but no matter what, if you keep going, God will use you in many ways.  He created each of us for a purpose, but we have to choose, even when the adversary comes against us, to cast him away and cry out to God for strength.  Most runners, no matter the circumstance, will push themselves beyond what they think their bodies are capable – this is how we get stronger.  The wind isn’t our only adversary, there are many trials along the way, and many situations that we can either choose to allow ourselves to give up and refuse to move forward, or slow down and persevere through the difficulty.

As I washed dishes for all the food and desserts we had prepared for the banquet I began crying out to God in my heart for help.  I realized I was dwelling on self-pity not even thinking about how others might feel.  I tried to focus my thoughts on God and resist the temptation to dwell on any negative or selfish thoughts.  And I gave thanks!  If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet, my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 was to obtain a grateful heart and I have been weaving that into a lot of my posts.  It really is a life changer, but it is not easy. 

I encourage you all to not resist running into the wind, for it is on those days that God makes you a stronger Christian.  Find someone to run with you during those hard days, (Jesus is an amazing friend!), and persevere till the end.  Let God strengthen you!  Many times I find myself thinking life would be so much easier without the wind, but could you imagine how boring life would be?

Posted in Charater Qualities, Training the Mind, Uncategorized

Run the Mile You are In

Run the mile you’re in… I had seen it many times before but I don’t think I ever totally understood what it really meant. Jesus said not to think about tomorrow because it has its own problems. We are to only think about today. Today is the mile we are in. Take one moment at a time. Why?

When I run, sometimes I look at how many miles I have left or what I need to do when I get home and how I need to hurry up and get back, or what my current pace is and freak out when I realize I’m going slower than planned, or maybe even if that dog is loose again and whether I should run by that house or not, and on and on and on, should I push past that pain or is it going to cause me to miss my workout tomorrow, should I bike tomorrow instead so I don’t have to worry about how much I push myself. Ugh, it can get very frustrating and easily take the enjoyment out of running.

But on the contrary, God has been taking me through a phase of learning how to control my thoughts. In looking forward to running a marathon in the next couple years, I have been researching how to train. Apparently its 20% physical and 80% mental! Yikes! This news was not exciting for me to hear, because I am definitely not in control of my thoughts.

Today, I ran 6.2 miles and really tried to focus on just the mile I was in. The first four miles was pretty good. I was able to enjoy the nature around me and for the most part my mind was pretty quiet. I counted down each mile that passed. But mile five was a struggle. My legs started giving me signs that they were going to get really heavy, I realized that my feet were sore, my hands were freezing, the wind was strong and cold, etc. etc. etc. All these thoughts started going through my mind and I purposed in my heart to focus on the mile I was in. I began counting tenths of a mile and thanking God that I was able to be doing this. I knew this run was going to give me the final words for this blog post and I was right. When I hit the sixth mile mark I felt like I ran out of the temptation to dwell on negative thoughts and I realized my body had more to give. I was sore and wanted to get home but I felt like I was free. I was able to give all I could to my body to keep going.

Anxiety pulls us back and keeps us tied down. Peace on the other hand gives us freedom of mind to think clearly and move forward. I’ve been learning that one of the best ways to push past those thoughts is to live in the moment. Live through just today. Don’t think about tomorrow. Don’t think about next week. Run the mile you are in. Run to Jesus and tell him everything that you are going through and then ask him for the strength to push forward. Today may be hard but God’s faithfulness is renewed every morning, so tomorrow you will have new strength to push forward in that day.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
Posted in Praise Report, Training the Mind

Challenged

Yesterday was my annual fall race.  This year I did Jeff Polen’s Music Fest 5k.  I was hoping for a PR but did not realize the difficulty of this course.  I knew there would be hills so I had ran the, apparently tiny, easy hills around us.  I even did hill sprints, though I do think those helped a lot.  But I was not mentally prepared for the challenge I was about to face.

The race started out, for about 3/4 of a mile, on pretty much flat ground.  With a pace of about 8:50 I was feeling pretty good, till I switched to a trail.  For the next mile and a half I was focused on keeping going.  All my training was being put to the test.  Going up hills I reminded myself of the down hills.  I ran in the grass during the rocky parts and another runner behind me said I was weaving all over the trail.  During this time my pace jumped to somewhere in the 9:00, which was still pretty awesome for me.  But because of the strenuousness of the new terrain I ended up finishing with my normal pace which was somewhere in the 10:00.

My average pace overall was 9:55, which was exciting comparing it to my training runs.  

My biggest lesson God “retaught” me was how much my mind has such a huge impact on my running.  The more I focus on how I feel whether in real life or running, the more it tears me down.  Who I think I am is who I am.  What we meditate on is who we become.  So if I am constantly telling myself lies, such as, “I’ll never make it,” or “I’m such a failure.”  I end up not even wanting to try.

During my run my mind kept saying, “you’re not going to make it.”  But a few days earlier, when I had asked God for some encouragement concerning my race, He told me, “You can do it!”  This thought also kept popping in my mind during my run and I can’t emphasize enough how much that helped me finish the race strong.

So what did I take home from my 5k?  Other than special memories with my family, God allowed me to see from a different perspective, yet real life application, how much dwelling on truth can benefit my life and help me become the person I want to be!