Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I recently went on a scavenger hunt for "whatever stuck my fancy", armed with my new Nikon camera I received for Christmas.  Later, when looking closely at this picture, I found the face of Jesus.  Do you see Him too?  I've asked a few people, some do, some don't.  It's OK either way.

 I wasn't "looking" for Him necessarily, though I do feel closest to Him when I'm writing and behind the lense capturing His creation.  I'll definitely be uploading more pictures in the next few days to show you.  There are a few gems.  Also, once I actually learn how to use my new "toy", I'm it'll be "to infinite and beyond"!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Forrest Gump I Am Not

I went to the Y the other day and the ladies at the front desk paid me a compliment every woman wants to hear, "You look like you've lost weight."  It made me feel really good and super confident!  For some reason, right before I walk into the cardio room, I get really nervous.  I have to take a deep breath and just go for it.  But after that compliment, I was good to go!

I've recently challenged myself to up the ante, if you will.  I get bored doing the same things all the time.  I wanted to see what I was really capable of; though knowing full well I haven't even begun to skim the surface.  Usually I do a cardio/fat burn on the elliptical, however I've recently changed it to pure fat burn.  (Essentially that means, you enter in your weight, age and how long you want to work out, and it calculates what your heart rate should be.  It also will increase or decrease resistance based on my current heart rate.)  The machine tells me I should be at 122 bpm, but I'm usually in the 150's; 160's if I'm really booking it.  I usually "run" my first mile within 11 minutes.  My total workout time of 45 minutes yields 3.5 miles.  I consider that to be good for me, but I know I can do better. 

The other night I was watching episodes of "The Office".  I knew people love that show, but I didn't fully appreciate just how funny it was until then!  I was cracking up!!  This lady next to me kept glarring at me with her eyes, as if to tell me to knock it off.  Give me a break!  I ignored her and kept on peddling. 

I always tell people I don't run unless someone is chasing me.  However, I was in the best shape of my life when I was running for soccer in high school.  Logic tells me that's what I should be doing, but boy it sure hurts my knees, shins and back!  Any advice, runners?  What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shaken Not Stirred

"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." Luke 6:38  (New Living Translation)

Gifts are the best, aren't they?  During this time of year, it's easy to think about the Gift God sent to us in a itty-bitty baby.  It's also easy about the gifts we both give and receive.  Personally, I love to give gifts!  I literally Christmas shop year around.  If I'm out-and-about and see something I think someone would like (and it's a good deal), I go ahead and get it then and stow it in my Christmas drawer.  It's my way of not only thinking about someone (even though they don't know it yet) and getting ahead for the ever-crazy busy December month.  Can you believe it's already the 15th?  How did that happen?  Wasn't Thanksgiving last weekend?

Speaking of gifts, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the real reason for the season.  EE and I were talking while we worked out tonight how stores are pushing "Happy Holidays" on us to take Christ out of Chrsitmas.  But do they not realize without a Christ there would not only be no Christmas to begin with, but you couldn't even spell that word.  It would be pretty silly to go around saying, Merry Mas!! 

Wait, I'm veering from my original point, which you don't actually know, since I haven't shared it yet.  In context the above verse talks about how we shouldn't judge others.  But I took it to mean something completely different.  Perhaps it's just the way my mind processes things, but I envisioned a blender, full of all the gifts God's given to me: passionate creativity, seeking the unique view from photography, writing, adventures, finding joy in the little things, etc.  All these and many more get blended to perfection and spilled out (hopefully not in my lap like the verse says) to everyone I meet!  I leave my "God prints" everywhere.

God's always given me the ability to know when someone needs cheering up.  I may not have a clue what's actually going on their life, but He'll give me divine wisdom to say all the right things.  The funny thing is, I rarely remember sending cards like these.  That's not to say that I under appreciate this blessing, I just honestly don't remember the event.  One instance comes to mind, my long-time friend JW talks about how I wrote her this letter in high school that got her through a really rough patch in her life.  I'm really glad He was able to touch her.  I'm just the vessel.  I'm the clay pot and He's the water.  He flows through me and splashes his loving grace in ways we'll never know.  In ways I'll never know.  I'm so thankful He finds me worthy to use.   

Isn't it true that when you give, it's as though you receive even more back?  You just might receive unexpected joy, a smile, and that good feeling deep inside to start with.  Always remember, you never know how He'll use the gifts He's given you for His Glory.  Be on the lookout for opportunites to bless others.  You just might get a "smoothie" spilled in your lap too!!