Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I joined the YMCA exactly one year ago.  In that time, I've:
  • Spent 97 hours, 32 minutes and 20 seconds (approximately) pumping blood to and from my heart to the rest of my body (doing cardio)!!!
  • Burned at least 66,000 calories
  • Spent an average of 45 minutes in the cardio room
  • And 30 minues lifting weights
  • Lifted a at least 413,160 total pounds
  • Completed at least 8,593 reps
  • Routinely "run" (on the elliptical trainer) anywhere from 2.5 - 3.5 miles per session
  • Logged nearly 30 hours, burned at least 9,000 calories and "ran" 117 miles!
  • Experience one spin class.  (I thought it was a beginners class but was actually an advanced class.  It was all I could do to keep peddling, but I couldn't sit down for a week after!)   
I wish I'd used a tape measure on myself when I began working out, so I could give an update on how my body has changed.  But I didn't honestly want to know how big I was.  All I know is that I've dropped a whole size in pants/shirts.  My face is becoming slimmer.  I've gained confidence in myself which I never knew existed.  I've changed both inside and out.  I'm eager to see what the next year brings!


Here are before and after pictures thus far.... do you see a change?  I certainly do!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Accidents Happen... But You Aren't One Of Them!

And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11 (English Standard Version)

First, "And the LORD will guide you continually"?!  Look continually up, it means "non stop".  I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels like I'm a fish out of water, flopping around, struggling to breathe.  I feel kinda lost sometimes; like I don't belong.  I'm not exactly sure what He's doing with me, you know?  I thought things would look differently by this point in my life.  But I guess it's a good thing I'm not in charge.  The last thing I think about is the fact that my Jesus is guiding me non stop.  But He is.  I hold tightly onto one of my favorite verses:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (English Standard Version): For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

I hang my hat on two phrases... "to give you a future and a hope" and "I will hear you".  So even if it feels like my hopes, dreams, and prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and hitting me on the noggin, He's there.  Frankly, He wrote the future, so He obviously knows what's going to happen.  I just need to learn to trust more.  I have trust issues, I know.  I'm trying to work on it.

Second, "satisfy your desire in scorched places".  OK, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds to me what happens when you feel that burning desire to make something happen.  Not just 'something' though, usually it's something God-sized that only He can make happen.  I have a lot of desires which I'm waiting for Him to do something with.  That's not to say that I don't have to put in some effort myself, I'm just saying it's easier to allow Him to go before me.  Though, I'm not very good at being patient when it comes to these big desires.  I'm doing my best though. 

Satisfaction doesn't come easy, especially in the society we live in today.  I call us the "microwave generation".  We want everything NOW and are rarely satisfied with what we do have; keeping up with the Jones' and all that.  But for Him to truely satisfy your desires!  Whew!  Now that will be amazing.  Just think about that for a minute.  What's a dream you've had which you don't think will ever come true?  For some of us, it's meeting our knight in shining armor (don't scoff, Amy), while others are dreaming for a child, some hope to move into a house, whatever it might be, He WILL satisfy your desire.  What a promise that is!  I do realize that sometimes He says 'maybe' or even 'no', but in the words from a really stupid movie, "So you're saying there's a chance?"  And with a chance, there's hope!!!

Third, "make your bones strong".  The first thought that comes to mind is the Flintstone's theme song.  Kids need vitamins to grow strong; least that's what the commercial says.  :)  Vitamins are to strength as Bible verses are to knowledge.  (Did you feel like you were taking an ACT for a minute there?)  Not only is Jesus going to be with you every step of the way, satisfy your desires, but make your bones strong as well!  Strong and healthy bones are often taken for granted.  You need good, strong bones so you can be at your best and do all your daily activities. Bones are responsible for good posture, performance in the gym, and pretty much everything you do with your body.

Fourth, "you shall be like a watered garden".  Wow.  I've never stopped to think about what that means.  I'm sure you've seen a beautiful garden during spring time, when it has been given water to grow?  Everything is so green!  The colors are more vibrant and there's a general sense of LIFE!  The flowers are fufilling their destiny; merely by blooming, they bring honor and glory to the Father.  What if the same were true in our lives?  What if, when we found something we're good at, like painting, singing, playing an instrument or even writing, that we did it to the best of our ability.  And when we did, we became alive!  We looked at the world differently as we found purpose in our lives!  What are your passions?  Obviously, I'm passionate about writing.  I've been wanting to write all day today, but I should have been in bed about an hour and a half ago.  It's worth it though.  I love being able to write what God's teaching me.  (Hope you're learning something as well?)

Finally, "like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail".  Have you ever been mezmorized by a water fountain?  To watch the water get forcefully shot out and up into the air, only to splash down upon the earth, wherever it can.  There's a rthymic and hyptotic flow.  What if we were like a fountain?  Once He's guiding us on a path, given and satisfied a desire, made our bones strong so that we could LIVE life more abundantly, then what's to stop us from spreading the news of this transformation with others?!?  That's kind of the point to any salvation story, if you ask me.  It doesn't matter where you came from, what you were doing, or what God brought you out of, you have a story to tell.  You have a story that won't fall on deaf ears if the right ears hear the News. 

Think about that for a minute.  You. Are. Special.

You aren't an accident.  God ordained you into being.  He formed you in the womb.  He gave you your unique characteristics and quirks.  He gave you your passions.  He chose you.  Period.

He says in Psalm 139: 13-16, Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

He has given us all the tools necessarly, all the seeds have already been planted, now we just need to till up our garden and see what blooms!!  Once you see what comes up, don't be afraid to give it away and share with your neighbors.  It's amazing what a 'flower' can do in a person's life!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh, look! There's a chicken!

"Some say I have ADD, but they don't understand..... Oh, look! There's a chicken!"

ADD it gets me EVERY time! I haven't had a chunk of time where I could write lately, so I thought tonight would be the perfect opportunity. I was thinking about what I wanted to write about on the way home, but as soon as I got in front of my computer, my attention was immediately scattered all over the place! It's not completely my fault, that is, I was semi researching a topic I just can't seem to get a handle on. It seems simple enough, 'snake shedding its skin'. I KNOW there's a correlation between that and when we grow as Christians, but I can't quite get a handle on it yet. So, I'll mull it over a bit more. Who knows, you might see something soon about that. Which btw, led me to some really interesting videos on YouTube, such as THIS, and THAT. So interesting! (DON'T watch these if you are frightened by snakes. You've been warned.)

I'm not sure how I wandered to the next clip on YouTube, but it's absolutely and utter fascinating!!! A storm chaser, Jim Reed, caught an amazing tornado on film!! The spectacular tornado footage taken 5/8/08 in Western Kansas, watch HERE. Although tornadoes scare me much like sharks, they also hold my attention like nothing else. For a girl with ADD, trust me, this doesn't just happen.

**30 minutes later**

Where was I? I got distracted watching storm chaser videos.

**15 minutes later**

I think it's pointless for me to try and direct myself towards anything substantial at this point. So, I'll share another crazy tornado video with you instead. These guys literally get caught IN the tornado. They show you the view not only from their handheld camera, but also the one on the roof, outside of the car. Check IT out!!

Have you heard about, "Where the Hell is Matt?" My dad told me about this one. Matt went all over the world to... well, actually, check out his story here. What a fun job he has!

Have you seen this ONE? The Sound of Music meets a Belgium train station. Obviously, most of the characters are staged, but still amazing. Look fun, huh?

OK, enough for now. I need to step away from the computer and get some dinner. Hope you had fun with this post. I sure did!

Happy trails!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Mountain Beach Family Vacation

It was a week full of fun and laughter. We weren't sure how Scooter would like the beach, but he literally tried to swim in the sand. Needless to say, first thing in the morning and later in the day, we'd spend hours there playing in the sand and ocean. A great time was had by all!

I stood on a sand bar to get the next three shots. :) I held my camera high above my head and prayed I didn't fall down into the water. I do what I can to get the shot I want, you know?

Squirt was into EVERYTHING, so I put oven mits on him to see what would happen. He still tried to get into stuff, but he had some challenges. haha Finally, he said, "Aunt Mer, I'm done with these."

A very tiny boy in a very large chair on quite possibly the hottest day ever!

Sweet Momma

Wow. Look at ALL the footprints!!

Path which led to the beach.

Our backyard view

This looks like a scene from "Forrest Gump".