my “bif if”

Back when my oldest daughter was about 5, learning to sound out words and use phonetic spelling she asked me if her aunt Jen was my “bif if”.  When I asked what she meant by that she wrote it out for me.  BFF… “bif if”.  That’s exactly how it sounds right?  That’s when she was introduced to all of her little buddies  writing and saying they were eachother’s best friends forever.  And so her life of choosing friends began.

My children’s’ Aunt Jen is actually my cousin so I guess she has been my “bif if” since she was born.  Honestly as long as I can remember this lady is the closest relationship I”ll ever have to a sister.  We laugh together, cry together and now we have been blessed to raise our children together.  I adore her, I look up to her, I appreciate her…and now I’m gonna cry.  But anyway, to the point here, I asked her to be a guest on my blog AWHILE ago because she has completely changed her life as far as her health goes and I think it’s awesome. (I put awhile in caps because I”m the slacker here trying to get homeschool into a routine and not typing this up, she has had her answers to me for weeks!)

Me being the one that is typically the health fanatic was stuck in a rut, and being the anxious girl that I am I lean on her for support often, whether she is aware of it or not 😉  And then out of nowhere, she shocks me and just changes up her life and it was so cool for me to watch her get out of her comfort zone and make some huge changes, so of course I wanted to know more about it and how it made her feel because I could tell a huge difference in her confidence.  My “bif if” who never really liked the gym was LOVING working out.  This was a big deal and it motivated me big time! She’s a beautiful person inside and out, a strong, supportive wife, a hard worker, and she has 2 of the most beautiful, fun daughters you’ve ever seen, and now she’s freakin’ awesome at Crossfit and just recently, jumproping 😉 AND she isn’t a fan of burpees….but who is?

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  1. What is your current exercise routine and how long have you been at it?

My current routine is Crossfit 3 times a week or sometimes 4 depending on the week.  Those classes are one hour each.  We randomly go for walks and I started working again so while I am there I don’t have much time to sit down.  I wouldn’t consider that working out but it’s better than sitting at home.

2.  Have you always been active? What made you change?

I was active when I was younger until I got to high school and I was just done with sports.  I have always wanted to stay active after that but once I start I give up.

3. What’s your average day look like?

On an average workout day I usually just relax most of the day.  Or I am either working or cleaning.  My Crossfit class is later in the day so I have all day free to do whatever I need to.

4. How has being active changed you?

Being active has made me feel better because slowly I am seeing some changes.  I feel stronger than I have in the past.  Once I start changing other things I know I will feel even better.

5. What else do you want to improve?

There are many areas I want to improve.  First I love doing Crossfit and I want to make sure I can and will continue.  I need to push myself more than I do now.  I know with changing my diet it will help me to improve a lot.  And that will make me feel better all around and will boost my confidence.

6. Why do you keep going?

I keep going because I know this is something good for me and I love it.  Also because I feel like I am being a good role model for my children.  They see me being active then they will hopefully stay active and healthy their whole lives.

7.  Advice for others out there who might feel like quitting right now?

If someone was going to quit their workout routine I would tell them to think about their decision again.  And if there was a good reason why they couldn’t continue then once they can, start again.  If you wait too long then all of your hard work will go down the drain.  If they couldn’t do it for money purposes, I would tell them to do as much as they could at home to stay in shape and active.

Can I just say what I love about her story is that yes…she is improving herself, yes….she is getting stronger, yes…she is seeing some positive changes, but she isn’t a different person.  She’s choosing to bring out the potential that’s been there all along.  When you start taking care of yourself, I don’t believe you become someone different, it’s always been there.  Jen has always been strong and determined, she’s just doing her absolute best right now to show it by taking care of her body, and I’m completely encouraged and inspired by my “bif if”. Thanks for keeping me accountable. Love you buddy!!! And thank you so much! I”m honored to share your story!!!

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TBT, Crossfit and Jesus

Catchy title right?

I grew up in a small town.  And within that small town there were a few different school systems.  You could attend the “big school” in town if you lived inside city limits, you might attend a Catholic school, or you might be one of the few townies who lived outside of city limits and attended the little rural school in the country.  As in, 50 people that stick together from Kindergarten through senior year size.  I remember when I went away to college so many people were shocked a school that tiny even existed.

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Think Kenny Chesney “Back where I come from” ish.  You know you want to listen to this CD all day now, you’re welcome 🙂 As I grew up in this small town and rural school district, athletics became a huge part of my life.  I’m sure this is the case in many small towns because what else are you going to do? That’s why there are so many songs, movies and books dedicated to Friday night football, or small sports teams and huge victories, it’s a BIG deal and a huge part of the identity of so many kids growing up today.  Luckily for me, I didn’t compete in sports because I felt there was nothing else to do, I truly loved it.  I loved being a part of a team, challenging myself and competing.  I participated in track, volleyball, softball, dance, cheerleading, gymnastics and soccer.  My mom was awesome at allowing me to try anything and getting me to ALL the practices I needed to be at.  The only sport I didn’t ever attempt was basketball, I like my personal space and couldn’t stand the thought of girls waving their hands in my face for an hour.  But don’t get me wrong, I spent many nights shooting hoops with my dad and brother in the drive way and I cherished that time.

All sounds great right? Until you grow up and realize unless you are college or Olympic material, the day you graduate high school that entire life and identity is over.  I don’t remember having a hard time with that because I always continued to be active, whether it was running, getting some gym time in with girlfriends or just hiking at the local state park.  But I do remember that time period where you become a mama and your life is wholly consumed by your new family (as it should be) and as I adjusted many times I thought….”It stinks that there isn’t a way for adult women to participate in some type of a sport”. (Actually, I probably was thinking more along the lines of GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE)  Now I know there are volleyball leagues and basketball, but honestly those are usually all men or co-ed because as women we just don’t give our physical health the care it needs.  Because somewhere, between the period of being in high school and becoming an adult, we are led to believe that we should look perfect, feel happy, have successful families, and that none of these things should require any time or effort.  Just look on the magazine rack of any store…”lose 20 pounds in a week”, “wear this lotion to look 10 years younger”.  There isn’t an article that says “take at least 30 minutes a day, eat food that is made to maintain your health, love your family and it doesn’t matter what you look like, God made you perfect as you are.”

For me, and I’m going to guess most women, this can be a constant battle.  But ladies let me tell you, if you want to be a better mommy, wife, friend or co-worker you’ve gotta find a way to take care of yourself.  About a month ago, I started a Crossfit class and I have to tell you I was a bit nervous about it.  I trained for a half marathon a few years ago and it completely took over my life.  I spent all day and night thinking about it and every chance I got I would be working to fit in a run.  I believe there is a time for training, but for me it can be a tricky balance figuring out how to go all in and not neglect your first priorities.  I’m loving that for me Crossfit means  I have a set time that I can attend and it’s not negotiable, I’m able to challenge myself and at the same be competitive with others.  It’s not about being skinny, it’s not about looking perfect, it’s about taking care of your body and working to make YOUR body the best it can be.  When I look at my body as a tool to complete what God has laid out for me, it makes perfect sense.  If you’re given a car to drive to a destination you want it working perfectly don’t you?  You aren’t so much concerned about the paint job or if other people look at it as it drives by, but you want it to get you to your destination efficiently and safely.

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Now there’s a reason that last paragraph had a lot of “for me” phrasing in it.  I wanted to give you an idea of what taking care of myself currently looks like and how it fits into my life but that works FOR ME.  If taking care of your body looks like going for evening walks, do it, if it’s yoga, do it, if it’s an exercise DVD when you can squeeze it in, do it.  Just know that you were given this body to take care of it and your worth isn’t based on what it looks like, your jean size, your weight, your measurements or anything else.  You were worth more than you can ever imagine the moment you were created.  Someone thought you were worth dying for and there is nothing you can do to change that.  I just believe that the least we can do is take care of the bodies we were given by that Creator and use our experiences to encourage others.  And hey, if you can find a class that reminds you a bit about a part of your life that you used to love and you can use it to your advantage….do that 😉

God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

How do you do it?

I think taking care of your health is so important.  I also think it’s a struggle for so many mamas out there.  Between the busyness, feeling guilty about taking care of yourself, and finding something that works, it can feel impossible to get into a workout routine.  But I also know that if you’re a mommy, that means you have little ones watching you very closely.  You have daughters looking to you for beauty while at the same time they are seeing supermodels on t.v., you have sons watching how you take care of yourself and whether you know it or not, when they choose a wife one day, the way you raised them will be extremely significant.

So I thought instead of my perspective, this fall I would find a few women I know that I feel are rocking it.  They are taking care of themselves and are living in a purposeful way.  Lady #1 Molly.  Molly is one of those people I couldn’t get rid of, not that ANYONE in the right mind would want to.  What I mean by that is we didn’t necessarily choose to become friends, we just kept running into each other.  Our daughters went to the same babysitter, then to the same daycare, we began attending the same church; clearly God knew we needed to become friends because He kept placing us together at random places.  7 years after meeting, we participated in a small group together, trained for a half marathon together (and completed it!) and our families have become buddies for sure.  She’s encouraging, inspiring, fun and I just love her!

So….I”ll let her take it over, meet my good friend, Molly.

1. What’s your current workout routine?

My current workout routine consists of two hours of Volleyball one time a week and one hour of CrossFit three times per week.  I just started CrossFit in the last couple of months and I’m still getting adjusted to it.  I have a feeling that as I get deeper into it, I may be practicing a lot of skills at home….can you say “Double Unders”?!

2. Why is it important to take care of your body/health?

I feel that it is so important to take care of your body.  I have always felt that way, but now that I have joined CrossFit, I believe it even more.  I feel working on your STRENGTH should be #1.  As one of my CF trainers recently said…building your muscles, in the way that CF does, prepares you for every day life.  It prepares you for those lids that you just can’t quite get off, or those heavy boxes you need to move. Strength/weight exercises are so essential and, I truly believe, are THE most important.  So many people have the misconception that to lose weight you must do cardio.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth!  Building muscles/weight training has been proven to have WAY MORE positive effects on your body than cardio alone (check out this video – https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1732689296991359&id=1724722411121381).  We all need to break out of this funk…especially women…DO NOT be afraid of heavy weights!  There are NO pills, NO shakes, NO wraps, NO cream…NO magic fix to losing weight, and keeping it off.

3.How do you fit it in to your busy life?

How do I find time to squeeze in workout time with my busy schedule (husband, kids, work, practices, games, Awana, small group leader, LOTS of other ministry work, new LuLaRoe consultant, hanging out with friends/family, etc.)???  I MAKE TIME!  You HAVE to!  Your life depends on it!  Now don’t get me wrong, I was quick to find excuses myself (in the past)…I know that game!  Hypothetically, if you get 8 hours of sleep per night (and honestly, who gets that?!) there is still 112 hours left in the week.  For me…only THREE of those hours are dedicated to work out!  That means I still have 109 hours left for everything else!  We have to be honest with ourselves…do we really not have time, or are we just making excuses?   Now, I am very lucky to have a supportive, athletic, dedicated husband, who supports me and my fitness goals…and he doesn’t mind me not being home for ONE hour, THREE times a week.

4. How has taking care of your body affected your relationships/life?

Taking care of myself, has had major positive effects on my relationship with my husband and with others as well!  Because my hubby is so dedicated to fitness, my personal dedication has led to having more things in common with one another.  We can talk about the “WOD” or how our bodies are changing, or just plain encourage each other…what a great aspect to add to your marriage!  I feel more energetic, happy, motivated, encouraging, strong, etc….which also leads to positive effects when it comes to any relationship.  Extra bonus…I have met and developed relationships with so many new people through CF…also have deepened current relationships further with having a common ground.

5.What do you hope your children take from watching you live this way?

I hope my children learn the value and importance of taking care of your body.  God, our Heavenly Father, has given us these bodies to carry us through our lives…they are all very different and very unique.  We all carry weight differently, metabolize calories differently, have different strengths/weaknesses,  etc.  It is very important to keep our bodies healthy and strong, so that we can be healthy and strong for each other for a longer period of time.  To take care of our bodies, is telling God that we appreciate what He has done for us, and what He has provided for us…we don’t want to take any part of our lives for granted.  Also, I want to teach my children the value of being and staying active.  In this digital world we live in today, it’s easy to get caught up with cellphones, tablets, computers, video games and other digital devices…and what are we most likely doing while using these items?  Yep…you got it…SITTING DOWN or even LYING down!  <—trust me…I’m guilty of this myself!

6.Have you always been active? If not, what changed to make you an active person?

I would have to say that I have always been a pretty active person.  Growing up, I was always athletic and enjoyed being active.  I played soccer, volleyball, basketball and was a cheerleader when I was young.  I was in dance classes as a child and was a Streatorette (dance team) in high school.  I played softball almost my whole entire life…even for a few years as an adult.  After high school, I slowed down a bit, but started visiting the gym with my boyfriend (now husband) and to try to stay active.  The gym stayed very important to my husband (and obviously to this day), but I slacked off a few years here and there.  A few years ago, I had some tough times in my life, and decided I needed to change.  I was the heaviest I had ever been and was destined to turn my life around.  I started the C25K (couch-to-5K) program and became a….GASP…RUNNER!  (If you would have told me this is earlier in my life, I would have laughed in your face…my 3 other siblings were track stars…I was not blessed with that talent.  I actually remember being told by my dad to “unhook the trailer” as I ran to 1st base at one of my softball games).  For the next 2 years, I participated in every 5K event possible.  I had met Jami before, but was blessed to cross paths with her because of a mutual friend and this new found hobby…DING, DING, DING, this hobby/workout ALSO connected me with new and better relationships.  I also began my heavy weight lifting regimen, thanks to my husbands guidance.  I was in the absolute BEST shape of my life at age 30, and felt absolutely AMAZING!  After all of those 5K’s, naturally it was time to step up my game.  And thanks to *cough* Jami and another mutual friend, we signed up for a half marathon…which we conquered in 2014!

7.What’s your advice for a busy mama wanting to get on some type of a workout routine?

If I could give any advice to the busy moms out there, I would say you have to take care of yourselves FOR your children.  If you don’t take care of your body, then who will?  I guarantee you will feel more energetic and feel better about yourself.  You have to make the time.  I guarantee if I told you I had free backstage passes tomorrow night for you to meet Luke Bryan, you would punch a hole in that schedule and make sure to be there!  Therefore…whenever it’s time to hit the gym, just tell yourself…”Time to meet Luke Bryan!”  Besides, wouldn’t you want to look your best for that occasion?!  *Side note…I’m more of an Adam Levine gal myself…but whatever works for you!  😉

Thank you for reading my “workout story”!  My wish is that I can speak to the heart of just one busy mom out there and turn her life around.  Remember…if not for yourself (which all of us moms are guilty of)…do it for your family.  And now, let God speak to you…“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13

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She’s amazing right? Her answers make me tear up. ESPECIALLY the end of #2.  Let’s do this women, let’s change what the world thinks is beautiful.  Each one of you was created uniquely to fulfill a specific purpose, appreciate your body and treat it in a way so that you can live your life to the fullest! Thank you Molly so much for sharing your story, love you lady 😉

 

I run to lose weight

Way back when I started running after my first daughter was born I began running mostly out of desperation and frustration.  I had tried “everything” to lose the baby weight.  Everything meaning I had stopped eating a few things I didn’t like anyway and was probably doing the elliptical for 30 minutes a day in my basement slowly enough to glance through an US Weekly magazine and maybe going to the gym every once in a while.

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Running wasn’t ever something that I loved, as a matter of fact, I pretty much hated it.  During junior high and high school I was a sprinter, and pretty good at it without having to put forth much effort.  I was able to compete at the state level both individually and as a part of a few team relays.  I remember a few conversations post baby that led me to believe running was my only option if I was serious about getting back into shape.  The first was with my family practitioner.  We were discussing my migraines and some medication options that might give me some relief.  She mentioned that she would not put me on any type of medication until I began exercising regularly,  lost some weight and began following a healthier diet.  I remember leaving stunned; not angry, just stunned.  I knew I was overweight for my height but to be honest with you, compared to people around me, I didn’t seem large.  Don’t get me wrong, I was completely unhappy with how I looked and felt, but I almost wanted to say, what about all those other people?! That’s why I love my doctor, she knew me and she’s straightforward, that’s what I like about her.

Next up, chiropractor.  If you don’t see a chiropractor, just find a good one right now.  That is my family’s stop EVERY time when we don’t feel well.  I won’t get on that soap box right now but I have trusted our family chiropractor for information on such a wide range of subjects and she has never steered me wrong.  In that office they always focus on the whole patient and I greatly appreciate it.  So again….chiropractor, how do I lose this baby weight??? Running.

The worst part about their responses was that my husband, the soldier, had been telling me the same thing for years…crap. So I started running, if you could call it that.  Thank God we lived in the country because I was horribly embarrassed.  I walked most of the way.  I swore my asthma that I had been diagnosed with as a child wouldn’t allow me to run.  It took me about 45 minutes to complete 2 miles and I complained about it when I got back BIG time.   I hated it, I hated it every single day. I kept telling my husband I just wasn’t a runner.  He didn’t understand, he was a runner, I wasn’t.  After all, I had asthma. And remember, I just had a baby. Also, I was a teacher working full-time, so he didn’t understand that, I was exhausted. I had shorter legs than him.  I mean I had all kinds of excuses. I felt weak, I felt tired, I felt lonely, I felt like I would never get there.  I cried, I didn’t feel like I was seeing results at all.  Until one day I did.  And then, in April of 2010, 10 months after my first daughter was born.  Hold on can I say that again? All of you who want fast results like I did? 10 MONTHS AFTER MY FIRST DAUGHTER WAS BORN. I could run a 5k.  IT TOOK ME 10 MONTHS TO BE ABLE TO RUN A 5K.  I met up with a friend for the first time ever and we were nervous, we had no idea what we were doing, but we stuck together and we did our first ever 5K.  Can I tell you that on that day, my weight didn’t matter at all? I felt powerful, strong, happy and like I was a part of something I had never been a part of before.  I felt like I was someone worth looking up to for all those little girls and young women who were there, cheering on their mommies and sisters and friends and family members.  I knew in my heart that this was a part of me that I needed and that my daughter needed to see.  It had nothing to do with a number on a scale.

Here I am, 7 years in.  I am a runner.  It brings tears to my eyes to even begin to write about what God has done in my life through running.  I’ve had the opportunity to complete several 5K races, 5 mile races and a half marathon.  (My goal is to complete MANY more half marathons!) I have been completely fortunate to run through 2 pregnancies.  That woman who I ran my first 5K with is my “sole sister”, we have completed trail runs together, much-needed runs that feel more like therapy sessions, we trained for the half marathon with a group of amazing women (love them, I could write an entire post about each of them!) and completed that entire process together, she and I continue to grow and change in this thing called running together.  I have been encouraged by family members and friends who amaze me by their motivation to begin running when they aren’t sure they can do it, then they allow me to be a part of the journey as they never give up.  Words can’t describe the support my husband has given me, whether he’s running with me or waking me up at 4:20am when I don’t hear my alarm and giving me the hand signals for you….go…run? 🙂 so that the kids don’t wake up.  He’s my forever #1 cheerleader, I adore him for that.  And my absolute favorite lesson from running that I never expected to learn was what I’ve been able to give.  The running community is all about being a team and supporting each other.  If you told me 7 years ago I”d be directing a race with a group of friends for St. Jude, my response would have been “I don’t run, I hate running.” The fact that I’m able to use running which is so close to my heart and show my children that their body is a tool that can be used to care for others is more than I could ever ask for.

So the moral of the story? Take care of yourself.  If for no other reason than you don’t wanna miss out on this!  You don’t have to run, but do what works for you to take care of your body because it can be used to do some pretty awesome things while you’re here on this Earth and people are watching you! So encourage them, bless them, create a team with them and be their cheerleader.  You never know where you’ll be in 7 years but this body is going to be what will be taking you there!

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If you’re interested in donating to the race I direct, please visit http://www.runsignup.com/rw5k or you can checkout the facebook page at 3rd Annual Reagan Wednesday 5K.  Thanks for reading!

Reality check

Some days you get up when your alarm goes off at 4:40, you go to the gym before your home is awake, you drive back and watch the sunrise, get a shower without any children coming in to chat, get ready for the day, you sit down to read your Bible with hot coffee, or whatever book you’re reading at the time.  ( Right now I’m getting through the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I HIGHLY recomend this book.  But that’s not the point of this post….) Your day begins peacefully and you feel prepared to take it on.  I always feel better when I’ve had time to get myself ready for the day.

And then there are days like today.  Days that never got a fair start to begin because they can’t begin when the night before never ended.  My little man is teething AGAIN, I swear that’s like a year long process, because it actually is a year long process.  My alarm goes off early and I vote not to rise for my early morning gym time which I’ve desperately been needing because I’ve been stuck in one of those ruts I posted about last week.  But this lady doesn’t do well without sleep.  I don’t need a ton of sleep but a few solid hours is a requirement for me.  Our day went on without that need being met and I found myself being a bit grouchy on the phone when my hubby called to check in on us. I realized my tone of voice wasn’t exactly kind that it wasn’t anyone’s fault that our baby hadn’t slept and nobody had any control over it.  We hadn’t done anything wrong for him to not be sleeping.  It wasn’t our lack of routine, we hadn’t kept him up too late, so if I wanted to have a better day it had to start with me.

Some days, taking care of yourself is pretty.  It’s an early morning run, or an evening run filled with beautiful sunsets.  It’s getting a massage or going to a spa day with friends and relaxing with a glass of wine.  It’s meeting up at a park with a group to go on a hike, it’s joining a new Crossfit class in your town and being super motivated about it. It’s trying out a new recipe and your family loves it.  But more often than not, taking care of yourself is hard, it’s making difficult decisions when you want to take a nap and do nothing all day (which I’ve done plenty in the past month with a lack of sleep!) It’s saying , nope, I’m worth more than that when nobody is watching.  Some days it looks like this, and you’re exhausted, you have a migraine and you want to quit running every single second and you feel a tad guilty that your daughters are watching tv that closely to the computer! It’s making the choice to not give up, and finding the right people to surround yourself with that will hold you accountable and not being upset when they do it because you have set goals and you know how badly you wanted them.  Don’t let anything get in your way, not even an adorable teething baby, take care of yourself mama! I’d love to hear how you make it happen!

 

It sure wasn’t the gym, but our homeschool room/den/treadmill area works for us!  I ended up getting in an hour of treadmill time and my baby boy got a 3 1/2 hour nap!  I don’t think my ladies would complain about their hour of time on amazon tv either.  Everyone was happy!

Land that I love <3


If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life

And I had to start again with just my children and my wife

I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me

And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee

Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA

Well, there’s pride in every American heart

And it’s time we stand and say…


Dear God,

Thank you for Independence Day. Thank you for the joy that fireworks bring. Thank you that because of the sacrifices of so many brave, selfless men and women my children are able to ride their bicycles freely in the streets without fear, I’m able to go for early morning runs, and I attended the church of my choice this morning.  God bless America.  Thank you that my husband and many family members and friends have served in our military because they wanted to and you have protected them, please be near those families who have soldiers that didn’t return home. Thank you for the freedom You gave us through forgiveness; God bless America; please now more than ever, stand beside her and guide her with your light.

-Amen


stagnant

stagnant waterFull Definition of stagnant

  1. 1a :  not flowing in a current or stream <stagnant water>b :  stale <long disuse had made the air stagnant and foul — Bram Stoker>

      2 :  not advancing or developing <a stagnant economy>

Have you ever been in a spot in your life where you just felt yucky? Kinda like that picture? Seriously, whether it was that you weren’t feeling quite connected with your spouse, you keep butting heads with your kids, you feel like you might need a shift in your career, you aren’t happy with the way you look or feel, the way your relationships with your friends or family are going? Things just aren’t moving forward in a positive direction in any area in your life?  You’re just…stuck.  I’ve been in that situation so many times, whether it’s the nasty feeling of being stagnant or just being in a comfort zone, there’s isn’t any room for growth in your life when you’re there.  And it’s so easy to look outward rather that inward to fix it.

From my experience, that’s exactly what needs to happen.  Just as the definition states, YOUR feelings or actions of being stagnant can “make the air foul” which means you can spread that attitude to those around you.  First your immediate family and those friends closest to you and then others you encounter.  Who wants to be known as that person?  We have all been around someone like that.  The person who complains and wants to change but doesn’t, they are able to recognize all their problems and then find someone or something else to blame them on.  Hey, I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all even been that person.

Recently, when I was stuck in one of these spots (which always happens to me a bit in the summer when I get out of a routine!) I was feeling a bit unappreciated and disconnected with my husband and I wasn’t feeling challenged at all with my workout routine so I wasn’t seeing the results I normally do and I got down on myself. My kids did the summer thing where they ask daily what we are doing, even after we spent 10 days on an awesome vacation, so I went to the Bible to read about the virtuous woman.  (Check out Proverbs 31:10-31 if you’re interested in seeing what God has to say about a woman not being stagnant.)

And I wanted to know exactly what virtuous meant

 Full Definition of virtuous

Some words God uses to describe a wife that is worth far more than rubies:

  • she provides
  • she considers
  • she sets about vigorously
  • her arms are strong
  • she opens her arms to the poor
  • she has no fear for her household
  • she extends her hand to the needy
  • she speaks with wisdom
  • she can laugh at the days to come

That looks like it could almost be the opposite for stagnant to me.  If you’re tempted right now to blame your emotions or disappointments on someone else don’t.  Have the conversations you need to have with them, absolutely; but don’t forget to take care of yourself on the inside too.  You were made for more than feeling like yucky water.  Get a good group of people around you that can remind you of that when you need it 🙂 And when you see someone sitting in the stagnant water, get them outta there and encourage them to get to a place in their life where they can grow!

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” 

Proverbs 31:10

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Vacay run

Most people who see me gearing up for a run on vacation would say “Jami, this is vacation, you’re supposed to be relaxing, go back to bed”. Except when you take into consideration that running is extremely relaxing and peaceful for me AND vacation is when I have my hubby available to help with the little ones. Long runs are when my brain unwinds, when I have time to truly appreciate what goes on daily during my vacation time because let’s just be honest here; as a mom of 3 little ones vacation is … well a bit  chaotic at times to say the least. When I wake up early before everyone else in a cabin on a gorgeous lake and look over at my husband, he does the motions with his hands, you, go, run.(  😘 I love this man. ) I jump at the chance to begin the day with some time to myself doing one of my favorite things and heading out on a route that I’m not even sure where it ends. Nobody can interrupt and ask mommy for a drink, a baby can’t cry, it’s just me on my run; sometimes listening to my music, maybe a podcast, maybe praying, listening to the lake, but doing what needs to be done to take care of me.

Some mornings sleep won, but others….the gorgeous Kentucky Lake and warm weather was heavenly. And the hills provided a challenge I don’t get at home unless I create them on a treadmill. I love checking out God’s creation and finding new running paths wherever I go!



My best friend is fat

At my best friend’s last doctor’s visit, her practitioner was a bit shocked. “Wow, she’s gained 25 pounds in the past year, what’s going on? We need to do some testing.”  “Are you active at all?”  The response, yea she’s active, completely active, she runs often, swims like a maniac, and I can even vouch for her on that because she is one of my favorite running partners.  She never turns me down.  No matter when I want to run, she wants to run with me.

Because of her weight gain, I haven’t been asking her to run as much.  I won’t lie to you she looks rough.  She has fatty tissue on her chest, that wraps around her front shoulder, it looks painful.  She doesn’t complain, but I can imagine it would hurt her to run.  I try to be sneaky about running, I don’t let her know I’m going, make sure she doesn’t see me on the road, and don’t dare let her hear the jingle of a dogleash.  (You thought I was a complete jerk there for a little bit didn’t ya?) The other day I thought, you know what, she wants to run with me so badly, she’s 9 years old, what the heck? I”ll take her, if we have to walk no biggie.

 

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That dog made it 3 plus miles at a 9:30 pace no problem.  We stopped half way so she could swim in the river near our house, something I don’t take advantage of nearly as much as I should. She loves to swim and I figured hey if I’m taking her out go big or go home right? As we headed back, I felt like a complete jerk for leaving my running buddy out because of her weight gain the past few months, concerned she couldn’t do it. I know, I know that’s what you do when someone needs exercise the most, make sure they get none, bad dog owner here. Apparently a good run was just what she needed! We returned home and it was sprinkling out just enough to feel perfect after a run on a humid day so we sat outside and what does she do? Runs over in the yard and finds one of her 10 balls and brings it to me, reads to play fetch (if you have a retriever you get it) this dog wasn’t exhausted at all and was ready to take complete advantage of my attention.

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Lesson learned from my dog: If your best buddy has gained 25 pounds this year and they are a dog or a person for that matter, invite them on a run, or a walk, or a bike ride, or something! It won’t do any harm! They may just want more!

What do you want to get accomplished today?

For awhile I was struggling with getting things done.  I had a bit of an issue with this as we adjusted to being a family of 5 but then we settled in and got into a routine and everything was running smoothly.  I was getting up early, going to the gym, starting our homeschool day…my little guy would nap and play peacefully and we would go on.  And then he became mobile.  Everything changed.  I feel like I am constantly chasing him everywhere and trying to get things done, then getting ready to go to all of our activities with my chores half completed around the house.  All the while I’m frustrated that I’m not getting my workouts in that keep me sane.

I refuse to be that mom, the one who is crazy busy and stressed, and never taking care of herself, frustrated with her children, her husband and her life.  I understand that life changes and seasons like this happen, but I’m determined not to get stuck in them, and to be aware enough to realize when I’m in a rut like this and make some changes.  So, I came across a blog where a woman listed the things she needs to get done each day and the amount of time that these things realistically took up.  Not fun things, chores that need to be done.  Non-negotiable, and I have some control over my non-negotiables.  For me this daily list was:

  • Bible reading
  • Exercise
  • Cook 3 meals and clean up
  • Clean floor (I don’t know which one, but it never fails that some floor will need cleaning 😉
  • Get my children ready for the day
  • Get my children ready for bed
  • Feed my son and put him down for a nap
  • Play with my children and be present
  • Pay bills/add items to budget
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Feed dogs
  • Get myself ready for the day

When I added the realistic time slots in for these activities, I came up with about 9 hours.  My day is full.  Without any homeschool or any extra-curricular activities, or volunteer activities.  This doesn’t include any of the time I spend on the race I direct with a group of friends or the time I spend volunteering or helping out others if they need it.  It means that at this time in my life, with 3 small children, I need to do some SERIOUS re-evaluating of our schedule and need a bit more practice saying no.  There isn’t even any time in there to chat with my husband.  Remember that man I chose to marry to spend my life with?

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I think as mamas we are so busy and especially as Christian mamas we forget to take care of ourselves.  The past few weeks, I have been taking time to get up early and make myself run, (more like Clint attempts to wake me up several times because I ask him to the night before)  because once I get out of it, it takes me awhile to enjoy it again, and now that I’ve made it non-negotiable, I am loving it again.  Running is a part of me and I’ve missed it.  My husband and I spend time talking when he gets home from work where we don’t allow our children to interrupt us at all (really…they spend the entire day with me, they can keep themselves busy for 15 minutes!) and I cherish that time.  I get him all to myself.  Because honestly, at the end of the day, he and I are spent!  I’m not saying, start being selfish, go shopping, spend hours at the gym, and do date nights each week, but you’ve got to figure out what it is for you that helps you to function best as a mommy.  Because if you’re angry, frustrated, tired and aren’t doing anything to your best ability, you’re honestly doing more damage to your family than you are caring for them.

I’d love to know what you do for yourself to make sure you stay on top of being a blessing for your family! Let’s pray for eachother to continue in the right direction and be realistic about our priorities and time 🙂

 

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